The owner of grocery chain Gristedes Foods Inc. has asked the U.S. Supreme
Court to overturn the recent decision finding him personally liable as
an “employer” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (FLSA) This
summer, A New York court determined that grocery magnate John Catsimatidis,
could be held personally liable for settlement payments in a wage and
hour class action lawsuit totaling closed to $2million. The settlement
came as the result of claims that grocery store chain violated workers
rights to overtime under federal law. However after the company ran out
of money to pay the workers, a New York court determined that Gristedes
must personally continue making the payments.
If you have questions about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) its critical
you consult with a top
Atlanta wage and hour attorney for an immediate consultation.
Overtime lawsuits may be filed where companies fail to pay workers the
overtime pay or other wages they are entitled to. The overtime law states
that all employees who are not exempt from the FLSA must be paid at a
rate of one and one half times their regular rate of pay for all hours
worked in excess of 40 hours in any workweek.
Here, the petition asserts that the high court should take the case to
decide whether an individual may be held personally liable for a corporation’s
violation of the FLSA because the individual had general control over
corporate affairs but exercised “no personal responsibility”
over the conduct that caused the violation.
Whether the court will hear this case is unknown. Two lower courts have
found that Catsimatidis should pay the money owed to the worker. First,
the lower court found that Catsimatidis was intimately involved in the
day-to-day operations of the store, and as a result could be considered
the “employer” and personally responsible to the employees.
Catsimatidis had personal contact with the employees, stores, vendors,
and customers. He also signed paychecks and supervised certain managerial
personnel. This level of involvement created an employer/employee relationship
and as a result, he was liable for paying damages after the business defaulted
on its payments.
The appeals court also agreed, finding that Catsimatidis counted as an
employer under the law because he had functional control over the enterprise
as a whole and was heavily involved in the company’s daily operations,
often visiting stores on weekends and making changes to local promotions
and displays. The outcome of this case could have great significance for
both employees and employers, helping to ensure workers get all the pay
they deserve from the responsible parties.
For more information or if you believe that you have not received all the
compensation you deserve, please contact the top
Georgia wage and hour attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.