A Beverly Hills lingerie retailer – Agent Provocateur, Inc. – has recently been sued for alleged overtime pay violations.
Filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 13th, this case (Case No. BC620413) is a class action initiated on behalf of the retailer’s non-exempt employees who have allegedly been the targets of systemic underpayments and other labor law violations.
A Closer Look at the Allegations
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are alleging that Agent Provocateur specifically failed to:
Pay the appropriate amounts of overtime pay to employees – In fact, the company is alleged to have miscalculated the proper overtime pay because it reportedly did not include commission compensation as part of the “regular pay rate” in its calculations. Furthermore, the plaintiffs allege that the commission compensation program was part of supervisors’ “selling” points to new employees, despite the fact that this compensation was partially (if at all) paid when earned by staff who worked overtime.
NOTE: California overtime laws dictate that hourly and non-exempt employees earn overtime pay (of 1.5 times their regular pay rate) for all hours worked over 40 hours in a given week (or 8 hours in a given day).
Provide the required meal and rest breaks – Specifically, Agent Provocateur allegedly prevented employees from taking their rightful meal and rest breaks due to the rigorous work schedules set by the company. As part of these allegations, the plaintiffs allege that they were required to perform work duties during any break times and that the company failed to include this additional work in its overtime pay calculations.
NOTE: California labor law requires that employees are provided with an uninterrupted, work-free meal break of at least 30 minutes before their fifth hour of work. If employees are required to work through this break, they are entitled to pay for this time as well.
Reimburse employees for their business-related expenses – Among the expenses that Agent Provocateur failed to reimburse staff for included those that were “necessary to complete their principal job duties,” including (but not exclusive to) travel-related expenses stemming from delivery runs made for the benefit of the company.
NOTE: California labor law explains that employees are entitled to reimbursement of work-related expenses.
At this time, it’s unclear how many employees have joined this class action against Agent Provocateur, as well as whether the retailer has made any moves to try to resolve this case via a settlement.
As more news about this high-profile case becomes available, we’ll bring you the latest updates in a future blog. Until then, tell us what you think about this case on Facebook.
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