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California Overtime Lawsuit against Nike Certified as a Class Action

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San Francisco, CAAn overtime play laws complaint against Nike Retail Service Inc. (Nike) has been certified as a class action in California after a federal judge, on August 19, gave her blessing. The crux of the lawsuit is time waiting for security checks upon the completion of a shift, time for which the employee is not paid, or so it is alleged.

According to the complaint, Nike employs a time clock system at their retail stores in the state. Employees, at the beginning of their shifts, punch in at a time clock which records the time at which the employee begins his or her work day. Conversely, upon the conclusion of a shift - or when an employee leaves the store for a break, for example - the employee is required to punch out, signifying the cessation of activity on the shop floor.

While plaintiffs have no quarrel with the time clock system per se, the mandatory security checks prior to the employee leaving the premises is another matter entirely, and forms the basis for the class action unpaid overtime lawsuit.

The lead plaintiff, Isaac Rodriquez, asserts that employees are subjected to mandatory bag checks or security checks in an attempt by the employer to thwart, or discourage theft. The checks can only be conducted by a manager, supervisor or an individual under contract to provide security. When such personnel are not immediately available, the employee is encumbered to wait until qualified personnel mandated to conduct security checks, are freed up to conduct the inspection.

All this activity happens after an employee has clocked out and thus, is not paid for security checks - or time spent waiting for one - mandated by the employer. This constitutes off the clock work and thus, according to the plaintiffs, a violation of California overtime law as well as federal statutes under the auspices of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Mandated checks necessary every time an employee leaves the premises either at the end of a shift or at the beginning of a break, can add up over the course of a week and culminate in an unpaid overtime situation, given that such mandated security and bag checks are always conducted after an employee clocks out.

Rodriquez brought his California overtime law class action in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The defendant, it has been reported, opposed the plaintiff’s petition for class certification. However US Federal Judge Beth Labson Freeman granted the motion.

Isaac Rodriquez intends to represent any and all class members similarly situated across the dozens of retail establishments Nike operates throughout the state. The lawsuit is Isaac Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., Case No. 14-1508, filed August 19 in US District Court, Northern District of California.


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