Haught v. The Wireless Center

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
Richmond Division
KIMBERLY HAUGHT,
on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated
Plaintiffs,
v.
THE WIRELESS CENTER, INC.
Defendant.
Case No: ______________________
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
COLLECTIVE ACTION COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Kimberly Haught (“Haughtor “Plaintiff”), by counsel, brings this action, on
behalf of herself and all other similarly situated Managers and Managers in Training, to recover
unpaid wages and overtime, liquidated damages and attorneysfees from her former employer,
The Wireless Center, Inc. (“Wireless Center” or “C ompany” or Defendant”), for violations of the
Fair Labor Standards Act (hereinafter “FLSA ”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. By virtue of
Defendant’s store staffing model, Plaintiff and others similarly situated were deemed exempt
employees despite never regularly supervising the work of two full time employees or their
equivalent. Defendant is a l arge specialty-based retailer of wireless communication products,
services and accessories, that has operated over 90 locations throughout Virginia, Maryland,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.,
employing more than 200 people. At all times alleged in this Complaint, Plaintiff, and all others
similarly situated, were the victims of a uniform policy and practice to deprive them of lawful
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wages and earned overtime in willful violation of the FLSA.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1337
(commerce), 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question) and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) (FLSA).
2. Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1391. The causes of action
asserted herein occurred and/or accrued in Hanover County, Virginia. Venue is also appropriate
in this Court because Defendant owns and/or operates one or more retail stores in areas
surrounding Richmond, Virginia within this Judicial District and Division. In addition,
Defendant’s unlawful conduct occurred in, among other places, Virginia.
PARTIES
3. Haught is a natural person residing in Tappahannock, Virginia and, at all relevant
times asserted in this Complaint, was an employee of Defendant in its retail stores located at
11657 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland, Virginia and 4915 Richmond Tappahannock Hwy.,
Aylett, Virginia.
4. Defendant is a an Ohio corporation and is an enterprise, as defined in 29 U.S.C. §
203(r)(1), engaged in business in the State of Virginia, operating retail stores for the sale of
wireless communication products, services and accessories throughout Virginia with more than
25 physical retail locations in Virginia, and currently more than 60 locations nationwide.
Defendant operates as an authorized, independent retailer of Verizon Wireless serv ices and
equipment.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
5. On or about December 3, 2014, Haught became employed by Defendant as a
Sales Consultant at its Aylett, Virginia location.
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6. In December of 2015, approximately a year after joining the company, Haught
was promoted to Manager/Manager in Training at the Ashland, Virginia location.
7. Defendant paid Plaintiff and other similarly situated Managers and Managers in
Training a flat salary plus commissions. Plaintiff, and others similarly situated, consistently
worked more than 40 hours a week but were deemed exempt by Defendant and not eligible for
overtime compensation despite the fact they did not regularly supervise the work of two full time
employees or their equivalent.
8. In early May of 2016, Haught’s employment with Defendant concluded.
9. Plaintiff, and other similarly situated Managers and Managers in Training were
regularly scheduled to work at least 45 hours a week, but often were required to work more.
10. Plaintiff, and other similarly situated Mangers and Managers in Training, were
informed by Defendant that the store was to be regularly staffed with less than 80 weekly hours
of non-exempt sales consultant time so as to prevent the accrual of overtime to said sales
consultants.
11. To the extent the allotted sales consultant time was inadequate to meet store
needs, the Plaintiff and other similarly situated, were required to make up for any shortfalls
leading to weekly hours worked well in excess of 40.
12. Plaintiff, and others similarly situated, regularly oversaw less than 80 weekly
hours of subordinate hours worked.
13. Defendant employed numerous other Managers and Managers in Training who
were similarly situated to Plaintiff in that they were classified as exempt despite their working at
Wireless Center locations where they regularly oversaw less than 80 hours of subordinate work
time.
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