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Target Hourly Employee Expense Reimbursement California Class Action

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The complaint for this class action alleges that Target Corporation did not follow all labor law requirements with hourly employees in its California locations. Interestingly, the violation of one California law sometimes leads to an ability to make a claim under a second law. 

Three classes have been defined for this action. 

The Hourly Employees Class includes all persons employed by Target, or any staffing services or third parties, in hourly or non-exempt positions in California during the relevant time period. This class includes a Wage Statement Penalties Subclass and a Waiting Time Penalties Subclass. 

The UCL Class is all Hourly Employee Class Members employed by Target in California during the relevant time period. 

The Expense Reimbursement Class is all persons employed by Target in California who incurred business expenses during the relevant time period.

Plaintiff Mariah D. Thomas worked at Target as a non-exempt, hourly employee from around October 21, 2017 to January 13, 2018. The complaint alleges that Target did four things with respect to her and others in violation of labor laws:

  • Did not pay them at the designated wage scale. 
  • Did not reimburse them for necessary business expenses. 
  • Did not provide them with accurate written wage statement.
  • Did not pay them all of their final wages at the end of their employment.

The complaint alleges that she and other employees were paid wages that were lower than the designated scale. How did that happen? The employees were required to pay for things like uniforms and cell phones. The cell phones were used, for example, when customers wanted a Price Match and the employee had to call to compare item prices. Also, as a uniform, employees were required to wear red shirts and beige pants. 

Normally, employees are reimbursed for these things. For example, a California Wage Order specifies, “When uniforms are required by the employer … such uniforms shall be provided and maintained by the employer.” However, Target required Thomas and others to pay both the original costs and the costs of use, like cell calls and uniform maintenance. 

These required items took money from their after-tax pay so that their wages were less than they should have been. This point includes the complaint’s first and second allegations.

The complaint also alleges that Target does not provide employees with accurate wage statements, the third allegation. This may be related to the above alleged underpayments. 

Under these circumstances, it’s pretty certain that when the employee stops working there, the company will not pay all the wages that the employee feels are owed. This is the fourth allegation, and it leads to waiting time penalties. 

Finally, California law allows persons who have lost money or property due to unfair competition (defined as any unlawful business practice) to bring a class action to recover that money or property. The complaint alleges that the lost wages and failures to reimbursements fall into this category. 

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