PHILADELPHIA – A former Urban Outfitters department manager believes the retail clothing company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by misclassifying her as exempt from federal overtime laws and not compensating her at a rate of time-and-a-half for any hours worked past 40 in a given workweek.

Rachel Mahan of Richmond, Va., filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 26 versus Urban Outfitters, Inc., of Philadelphia.

“Defendant employed plaintiff as a Department Manager (“DM”) from approximately February 2011 to July 2013 at one of defendant’s stores located in Aventura, Fla. Plaintiff regularly worked in excess of forty (40) hours per workweek, without receiving wages from the defendant for all hours worked, as well as for overtime compensation required by federal law,” the complaint reads.

Mahan says in the course of her duties, she was often scheduled to work in excess of 40 hours per week, with an average workweek consisting of 48 to 50 hours, and sometimes 55 hours. Mahan explains her primary duties were manual in nature and specifically included “manual work such as, for example, cleaning the store, folding clothes, building displays, and unloading freight” – and did not include “hiring, firing, disciplining, supervising, or exercising meaningful independent judgment and discretion.”

“Pursuant to its centralized, company-wide policy, pattern and/or practice, defendant classified plaintiff and all DMs as exempt from coverage of the overtime provisions of the FLSA,” according to the suit.

Mahan’s litigation argues the aforementioned misclassification of her and DM contemporaries as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA and failing to pay overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek, constitutes willful violation of that act.

For violation of the FLSA, the plaintiff is seeking: Unpaid overtime compensation; An additional and equal amount as liquidated damages; A declaratory judgment that the practices complained of herein are unlawful under the FLSA; An award of unpaid wages for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay due under the FLSA; An award of liquidated and/or punitive damages as a result of defendant’s willful failure to pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek at a rate of time and one-half of the regular rate of pay pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Section 216; An award of damages representing the employer’s share of FICA, FUTA, state unemployment insurance, and any other required employment taxes; An award of prejudgment and post-judgment interest; An award of costs and expenses of this action, plus such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by R. Andrew Santillo, Peter Winebrake and Mark J. Gottesfeld of Winebrake & Santillo, in Dresher.

Additional counsel listed in the complaint are: Marc S. Hepworth, Charles Gershbaum, David A. Roth and Rebecca S. Predovan of Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth in New York City; Justin M. Swartz, Ossai Miazad and Michael J. Scimone of Outten & Golden in New York, City; Seth R. Lesser, Fran L. Rudich, Michael H. Reed and Christopher Timmel in Rye Brook, N.Y.; plus Gregg I. Shavitz and Alan L. Quiles of Shavitz Law Group, in Boca Raton, Fla.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171003540

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
1501 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA - 19102

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