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TJ Maxx Violates California Labor Laws – Again

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TJ Maxx is facing yet another lawsuit for violating California labor laws.

Los Angeles, CAA T.J. Maxx employee claims that thousands of its California employees had to work through their rest breaks but were forced to mark otherwise on their time sheets. The retailer is facing other California labor violations stated in the proposed class action, which the retailer has a habit of repeating.

Plaintiff Faith Soriano was a nonexempt employee at the Defendants’ Redondo Beach store from January until August, 2023. She filed the complaint on June 5th in Los Angeles County court. (According to court documents, the complaint belongs in state court because Soriano is not alleging any Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, the class members' individual amounts in controversy are no more than $75,000 and the class-wide amount at issue is no more than $5 million.)

Court documents state that Defendants T.J. Maxx of CA LLC and the TJX Companies Inc. are accused of violating California labor laws by depriving workers of rest periods or wages in lieu thereof and accurate sick pay. Soriano states that, although T.J. Maxx required her and other workers to attest that they took state-compliant meal breaks, she was often unable to take those breaks.

Missed Attestation

Rather than paying workers an hour's wages in lieu of allowing them to take breaks, managers marked their untaken rest breaks as a "missed attestation.”

The definition of attestation is the act of confirming that something is true. According to timeero, employee timesheet attestation refers to the process of an employee confirming the accuracy and completeness of the hours they have worked for a particular pay period. 

And UKG, a provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions explains that attestation provides irrefutable proof that an employee did or did not take their rest or meal break. It gives the following example:

If an employee (we’ll call her Sarah) attempts to punch in early, you can program the system to ask her why she’s not taking her allotted time. Is her early return voluntary? Has her manager requested that she come back? Asking these questions helps organizations avoid paying the meal penalty every time an employee returns too early. If Sarah is coming back early on her own, the meal penalty does not apply, and her employer won’t pay her for the time. If her return is manager-initiated, the meal penalty does apply, and her employer will compensate her adequately.

The return on investment for implementing attestation can be immense…Attestation is a great way to keep a record of rest and meal break activity so that you can report on the penalties waived and paid and know precisely where you fall in terms of compliance. 

Sick Pay

Soriano also claims that T.J. Maxx miscalculated workers' accrual of sick pay. California labor law stipulates that the retailer should have provided a minimum of one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked. During her brief employment, Soriano should have accumulated 3.9 hours of sick leave but she had one sick day and was not paid, claiming she has a balance of 0.9 hours.

The case is Soriano v. TJ Maxx of CA LLC et al., case number 24STCV13970, in the Los Angeles County Superior Court for the State of California.

Repeat Performance

T.J. Maxx must be familiar with wage and hour laws, yet it seems not to have learned from wage and hour lawsuits, one of which resulted in a $8.5 million settlement in early 2017.

The wage and hour class action, which was initially filed in California federal court in 2013, claimed that thousands of employees were forced to wait off the clock at their workplaces while their managers finished closing the stores. Other workers claimed they were regularly refused meal breaks.

And back in 2014, TJX Companies Inc. faced an unpaid overtime lawsuit by former employees who claimed that the store misclassified employees with assistant manager status as overtime-exempt, thus violating the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The T.J. Maxx parent company has faced numerous complaints in the previous five years. According to Top Class Actions, one of the T.J. Maxx class action lawsuits states that forced overtime without pay is a common practice at stores owned by TJX, and employees are discouraged from asking about overtime pay.


California Labor Law Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your California Labor Law claim at no cost or obligation.


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