A California state court of appeals has granted class action status to a group of current and former Lowe’s employees suing the retailer for unpaid overtime. The California Appellate Court 2nd District reversed a lower court’s decision, clearing the way for the case to proceed on behalf of hourly workers employed by Lowe’s since Oct. 29, 1997.
The original complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in 2001, claims that Lowe’s restricted or refused to pay overtime but required employees to work “off the clock” until their assignments were complete. The Los Angeles trial court ruled in 2003 that the case should be adjudicated on behalf of individual plaintiffs. It also denied a motion to compel Lowe’s to provide the names and addresses of all its hourly California employees.
The three-person appellate panel disagreed, granting class action status to that case. The potential number of plaintiffs could exceed 25,000 people, according to court documents.