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U.S. Supreme Court Leaves Family Dollar On The Hook For $36 Million In Unpaid Overtime

In 2006, 1444 employees filed suit against Family Dollar Inc., under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), asserting that the company had wrongfully classified them as managers when, in fact, they had little or no supervisory authority.

Rather than spending most of their time supervising employees, (exercising judgment and discretion, with authority to hire/fire), they were responsible for unloading trucks, cleaning and mopping floors, and working the cash registers. They regularly worked 60 and 70 hour work weeks and were only paid a salary to compensate them for all hours worked.

The jury found that Family Dollar should have classified the plaintiffs as hourly employees entitled to overtime pay and awarded the plaintiffs $19 million. A few weeks later, a U.S. District Court judge increased the award to more than $35 million.

In a prepared statement, Family Dollar said it found the U.S. Supreme Court's decision disappointing, but that the decision 'will not have a material impact on its financial condition' as it had already reserved the money for paying the judgment.

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