Price Chopper settles overtime lawsuit

Terms not disclosed
Price Chopper did not admit any errors.
Price Chopper did not admit any errors.

SCHENECTADY — A class-action overtime pay lawsuit filed against Price Chopper supermarkets has been resolved before going to trial.

Details were not available Wednesday, but a settlement apparently has been under discussion for months. The parties in December told U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson in Springfield, Massachusetts, that they hadn’t reached agreement with the help of a mediator but wanted more time to try to do so.

Mona Golub, a spokeswoman for Schenectady-based Golub Corp., which operates Price Chopper and Market 32 supermarkets, did not discuss the terms of the settlement and did not admit any error on the company’s part.

“The parties were able to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of this matter, and Price Chopper denies any wrongdoing,” Golub said.

The matter dates to 2014, when Shelly J. Davine sued her former employer because of its overtime policies. Law firms Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook and Outten & Golden represented her.

The North Adams, Massachusetts, woman charged that, in an attempt to reduce labor costs, the company unlawfully classified her and other department managers as “team leaders” — a position the company said was exempt from federal overtime protections. As a result, she worked 45 to 50 hours a week without overtime pay alongside other people doing the same tasks but who received overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours a week.

According to the lawsuit, Davine worked as a team leader at stores in North Adams, Lenox and Lee, Massachusetts, from 1983 until June 2014. At each of the stores, she alleged, she was subjected to the same overtime exemptions, along with other team leaders in the bakery, deli, meat, seafood, grocery, front-end and produce departments.

Several other Price Chopper employees joined in the lawsuit as class-action plaintiffs.

An attorney for the plaintiffs did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

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