Dollar Tree Sued by Former Manager over Compensation Issues

Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. is being sued by one of its former managers who claims that, although he was paid by weekly salary, he should have been paid by the hour, including time and half for overtime.

Sayed Hessam was employed by Dollar Tree Stores as a manager from 2016 to 2017, according to the complaint. He was paid a salary of $55,000 per year. He claims his weekly paycheck reflected payment for 45 hours per week and included five hours in overtime, but he typically worked 70 and 90 hours.  

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most employees must be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime for all hours worked over forty. The FLSA makes an exception from these requirements for those who are considered executives. To qualify for this exemption the employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week, the employee’s primary duty must be managing an enterprise, department or division, the employee must regularly direct the work of at least two others, and the employee must have the authority to hire and fire, or make suggestions about hiring that are given particular weight.

Hessam claims that 90% of his time at work consisted of doing the same work as those who received hourly compensation, including overtime, like unloading merchandise, stocking shelves, operating cash registers, cleaning, and helping customers. He did not engage in any substantive management and had no authority over how the store was run or who to hire or fire.

Noting that Dollar Tree Stores managers “are ‘managers’ in name only,” Hessem seeks class action status to include in his suit all current and former store managers in New York state. 

“Store Manages have no greater authority than hourly employees.  The real discretion relating to the management of any specific Dollar Tree store location is exercised exclusively at levels above the Store Managers,” according to the complaint. Hessem argues that store managers should receive hourly wages as well as overtime in accordance with the FLSA.

Hessam is represented by Leeds Brown of Carle Place, New York who filed the action in the Eastern District of New York.

Dollar Tree did not return a message requesting comment.

Image Source: Mike Mozart (Flickr)