A lawsuit claims that Publix consistently requires hourly assistant department managers to work off the clock without being paid.
Three former Publix Super Markets Inc. employees have filed a collective action suit last week against the Lakeland, Fla.-based supermarket chain over alleged unpaid overtime work.
The lawsuit, filed in the Middle District of Florida on behalf of employees at Publix stores in Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, claims that the supermarket chain consistently requires hourly assistant department managers to work off the clock without being paid.
According to the lawsuit: “While Defendant [Publix] required Assistant Department Managers to work overtime hours, it did not pay them for all hours worked, including time spent working inside Publix stores performing pre- and post-shift work off the clock required by Publix or their supervisors; time spent working during unpaid meal breaks; and time spent outside of Publix stores communicating with supervisors and co-workers, and other directives, off the clock.”
Plaintiffs alleged that Publix owes them overtime pay for these off-the-clock hours.
As a practice, Publix does not comment on pending litigation, but due to the nature of the claims involved, the company deemed it was necessary to respond. It provided the following statement to Progressive Grocer: "As an associate-owned company, we are proud to provide our associates with a comprehensive benefits package – including company ownership – in addition to paying our associates in accordance with the law. We take these claims seriously and will respond appropriately."
Plaintiffs are represented by Morgan & Morgan P.A. and Shavitz Law Group P.A. The lawsuit proposes a collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to include other employees who worked within the past three years across Publix’s 1,300 locations throughout the southeastern United States. Publix assistant department managers who may have been affected by the supermarket chain’s alleged unlawful conduct can join the collective action.