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Illinois Family Video Plaintiffs Not Exactly a Happy Family

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Chicago, ILIt appears it is anything but a happy family amongst two classes of workers employed by Family Video, a movie rental franchise that is alleged to have stiffed employees of overtime pay in violation of Illinois labor and employment law.

The defendant is Family Video Movie Club Inc. According to court documents, there are two classes of plaintiffs and two claims against the company. The first claim alleges that Family Video shortchanged employees who are paid by the hour, by failing to include commissions when computing rates of overtime pay.

The second claim for violations against Illinois labor law relates to occasions when, or so it is alleged, employees were required to drop off bank deposits after clocking out for the day. This, plaintiffs assert, translates to off-the-clock work and thus having a negative impact on minimum wage and overtime pay.

The Illinois employee rights claims are made under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The Illinois employment lawsuit was first brought in 2011 and a collective action under FLSA was conditionally approved for certification the following year. From there, plaintiffs sought further certification for a proposed class of employees under the state wage law that could number into the thousands.

However, that certification was rejected, due to concerns over the potential for lack of commonality for claims.

When the two classes of plaintiffs narrowed the scope of their claims and provided additional evidence, US District Judge John Z. Lee reconsidered the renewed bid for certification, and this time it was granted.

According to court documents, the Illinois labor and employment law class action will be limited to current and former hourly paid workers, who may have been employed at Family Video in Illinois between March 2008 and March 2011.

Family Video is a chain of video stores that operates in 19 states across the country. There are 100 Family Video stores in the state of Illinois alone. Plaintiffs in the Illinois state labor law class action allege that Family Video systematically underpaid its workers.

The lawsuit is Darvette Smith et al. v. Family Video Movie Club Inc., case number 1:11-cv-01773, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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