Burberry has agreed to pay $2.54 Million to sales associates and sales leads in New York for failing to compensate workers for all of their hours worked, including pre- and post-shift work and working through their one-hour, unpaid lunch breaks, as well as overtime pay for all weekly hours worked over forty, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.
The wage theft lawsuit claims that Burberry stores used handwritten time-sheets, which did not accurately track workers’ hours, and that the sales workers were often instructed by management to only record their scheduled hours rather than their actual time worked. Sales workers at Burberry were mainly responsible for selling Burberry products, providing customer service, working the cash register, making and receiving phone calls and emails, and receiving and processing shipments and deliveries.
The sales workers alleged that Burberry regularly required them to begin work before the start of their scheduled shifts to ensure that the stores were ready for opening, clean the stores, replenish merchandise, and attend two or three mandatory meetings per week, all without being paid during this time. The sales workers also say they often had to stay 30 to 60 minutes working off the clock after the end of their scheduled shifts to clean up the stores, perform end of day duties, complete required paperwork, and prepare for opening the following day.
The sales workers claimed that on many occasions, and especially during busy times, they worked through all or part of their unpaid lunch breaks to make sales and/or assist customers or other Burberry employees without pay. Burberry also allegedly failed to pay sales workers overtime premiums for all of their weekly hours over forty, and on numerous occasions, management simply told the sales workers that Burberry “didn’t pay overtime.” One Regional Manager is alleged to have yelled at another manager “I can’t pay an employee more than 40 hours, if they work more than the time they’re scheduled that’s on them. If they don’t like it here they can leave.”
The settlement, which now must be approved in federal court in New York by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, is expected to cover 643 current and former sales workers at New York Burberry locations throughout New York City and Westchester County.