American Express Company has a long history: It was founded in 1850 and is one of only thirty companies from which the Dow Jones Industrial Average is derived. So how did they end up in a basic labor case? The complaint for this class action brings suit against them and against a company it claims that Amex partnered with for merchant services, Sales Partnerships, Inc.
The FLSA collective action class for this action is all current and former employees of American Express and Sales Partnerships, Inc. working in the US who had the job title “Merchant Services” at any time between January 31, 2016 through the date of entry of judgment in this case.
The complaint describes Sales Partnerships as combining “practices in sales recruitment, training, management, quality assurance and selling technologies into a complete services platform.” However, its partnerships seem to be a little closer than simply providing services. According to the complaint, “Sales Partnerships contracts with American Express for their field sales people; however, American Express monitors team chats, daily sales numbers and assists with training of individuals such as Plaintiff.”
The complaint claims that both companies can be considered employers of the plaintiff Leigh Trimaldi. Trimaldi worked for them from October 23, 2016 to February 6, 2017. She had the title Merchant Services and was classified as “exempt.” Although she claims she worked overtime hours every week, normally about fifty hours per week, she was not paid for more than forty hours of work per week.
Trimaldi makes her claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although the FLSA allows some exemptions from the rule that employees must be paid at least time and a half for overtime hours, the complaint claims that Trimaldi should not have been classified as exempt. It says that in her case none of the exemptions apply.
The complaint points out that Trimaldi does not meet the requirements for exemptions in the categories of executive positions, administrative work, or professional services. Among other things, she did not supervise others and did not exercise a high degree of discretion in her work. Her duties consisted of tasks like mapping out routes for her visits to customers, checking and photographing their American Express signage, putting up signage if they did not have it, and submitting photos and paperwork to Amex on the visits.
The complaint therefore claims that Trimaldi should not have been classified as exempt and should have received overtime pay for all hours she worked over forty per week.