Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Spencer Gifts Faces Overtime Pay Lawsuit,” by Gayle Cinquegrani. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Spencer Gifts, a nationwide chain of 550 stores, is hoping to ward off a potential class action by forcing a former store manager to go to arbitration with his federal and state allegations on overtime pay.
Bryan Chapel, who worked as a Spencer store manager in Clay, N.Y., alleges the company should have paid him overtime for his extra work hours because most of his duties weren’t managerial. Instead, the company paid him an annual salary and classified him as exempt from overtime regulations.
Chapel sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law and is asking for certification of a class action. He originally filed the case in New York state court, but Spencer Gifts had the case removed April 9 to federal court, Chapel’s attorney, Michael Palitz, told Bloomberg Law in an April 11 email.
The Empire State in recent years has taken several worker-friendly steps, including expanding overtime eligibility, increasing the minimum wage, and requiring employers to provide more notice of workers’ schedules.
Company Seeks Arbitration
“We’re going to be moving to compel arbitration on an individual basis, so this matter is not going to remain in the courts,” Paul DeCamp of Epstein Becker Green told Bloomberg Law April 11. He said Chapel signed a mandatory arbitration agreement. DeCamp is Spencer’s lead counsel.
“Spencer vigorously disputes the allegations in the complaint, and we expect to prevail on the merits of the case,” DeCamp said.