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Lawsuit Alleges Blockbuster Owes Employees Overtime Pay

21 Jul, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

A Florida law firm has filed a nationwide lawsuit against Blockbuster Video, alleging the chain misclassified some employees as managers and seeking to recover unpaid overtime for employees who routinely worked more than 40 hours per week.

The lawsuit, Miranda, et al v. Blockbuster, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Attorneys from the firm Herman & Mermelstein will seek to have the case certified as a class action.

A Blockbuster spokesman declined comment, saying the company has not yet had an opportunity to review the suit.

The case charges that Blockbuster violated federal law by deliberately misclassifying employees as store managers to avoid paying overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provides that nonsupervisory employees are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for each hour over 40 hours worked in a work week.

In 2001, Blockbuster settled a case brought by store managers in California for $12 million.

“Blockbuster forced its store managers to work excessive hours to keep its labor costs down. Now it is time to pay up. Blockbuster store managers are entitled to be compensated at time-and-a-half for every hour they worked at the store over 40 hours,” lead plaintiffs' attorney Jeff Herman said.

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