This class action covers a common complaint in the labor force: the nonpayment of overtime hours because of employee misclassification. The complaint alleges that Hertz Corporation, operating through its Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty brand car rental agencies, wrongly classified its location managers as exempt employees, thereby avoiding the New York Labor Law (NYLL) that requires overtime pay for additional hours.
The class for this action is all individuals who have worked as location managers or in comparable for the Hertz Corporation at any Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, or Dollar/Thrifty car rental location in New York, at any time between June 11, 2013 and the date of final judgment in this case.
Location managers (LMs) have a range of duties: “waiting on customers at the vehicle rental counter, driving vehicles from one location to another, washing vehicles, handling vehicle returns, and general customer service.
One reason that LMs have to work overtime, the complaint claims, is Hertz’s “deliberate understaffing[.]” That is, it schedules in a minimum of non-exempt hourly staff and then, if the location gets busier than expected, it relies on the location managers to take up the slack and do overtime. “Because of [Hertz’s] rental location hours and lean staffing model,” the complaint says, “LMs regularly work in excess of forty (40) hours per workweek and frequently work ten or more hours per day.”
However, the complaint says, LMs are not properly classified as exempt because the “primary duties of LMs do not fall under any of the exemptions to the NYLL. Although LMs are called managers, they do not actually perform management functions, the complaint claims. Instead, it says, they perform the same functions as the non-exempt hourly workers, such as checking cars in and out, doing data entry, shuttling cars, and so on.
The plaintiff in this case, Polat Kemal, worked as an LM at locations around New York, between May 2013 and October 2015. He was a paid a salary of $46,000 with no overtime. However, the complaint alleges that Kemal typically worked between fifty and sixty hours per week. His normal schedule was five nine-hour shifts, from Thursday through Monday, but claims he usually worked one to three hours longer than his scheduled shifts, for ten- to twelve-hour shifts, five days a week.
The complaint claims that Hertz has not paid LMs properly or kept accurate records of their hours, both of which are violations of the NYLL.