Forever Working? Retailer Forever 21 Hit With Class Action Lawsuit by Employees
Discount fashion retailer Forever 21 has recently been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging the retailer failed to pay employees for all hours worked. The case was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of all current and former hourly employees in the state of California during the applicable statutory period.
The lawsuit, Jones, et al. v. Forever 21 Retail, Inc. et al., Case No. CGC-12-517423, alleges that Forever 21 systematically prevents employees from taking proper meal and rest breaks and denies employees overtime compensation. According to the complaint, the five named Plaintiffs allege that Forever 21 requires employees to regularly submit to “bag checks” as part of the company’s loss prevention policy to check for stolen merchandise. The problem is, however, that Forever 21 requires employees to clock-out before submitting to such back checks, according to Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs allege that the time spent waiting to be examined can take ten minutes or more, but employees are not compensated for this time. Under California law, an employer is responsible for paying employees for time when an employee is “on-call,” or under the employer’s control, among other circumstances. Plaintiffs allege that the time they spent undergoing bag-checks was time spent for the sole and exclusive benefit of Forever 21 and a term and condition of their employment. Accordingly, they allege they should have been paid for this time.
The lawsuit has the potential to affect thousands of current and former employers in California who work or have worked for the chain’s dozens of stores in the state.