Three Worker Class Action Suits Allege Menards Labor Law Violations, Wage Theft
By Doug Cunningham
In three separate class action lawsuits Menards workers are accusing the company of essentially stealing overtime wages by violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The class action suits accuse Menards of not paying legally required overtime and of forcing workers to work off the clock for all breaks. The suits also assert that workers aren’t getting paid for company-required meetings.
This alleged company wide policy affects hundreds of locations and tens of thousands of workers at Menard’s retail stores, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities.
Menard’s workers say they put in as many as 50 hours a week for years without getting paid all the overtime pay they earned.
The suits seek compensation for all Menard’s workers “similarly situated.”
In addition to these lawsuits Menard’s is facing an OSHA investigation and NLRB complaints on other violations of labor law.
Laurie Mowery is a former Missouri Menard’s worker fired after complaining about safety issues at the store in Farmington Missouri. She was injured in a fall she says was caused by sweeping machines that left water on the floor. She had complained to management about the safety hazard before she herself fell and was injured.
Laurie says she also found Menard’s wasn’t paying her in full for her work. And she has no doubt that Menard’s is doing the same to other workers.
[Laurie Mowery]: “It’s absolutely happening to all the employees. And I would say probably some are more affected than others. Because a lot of managers are required to work 12-15 hour days. They get two ten minute breaks a day. If they go on a third break, they’re not gettin’ paid for it.
I have a complaint with OSHA that is going up against Menard’s and then I also have a complaint with the NLRB because I brought up unions – and I brought ’em up a couple of times in communication with general management at the store.”
Mowery encourages all Menards workers to speak up about these labor law violations.
[Laurie Mowery]: “Former employees at Menards and maybe even current employees and just employees in general if they find that their employer is doing this to them speak up. And make sure that they’re heard. I think the more noise you make that the better chance we have of making this stop.
John Menard seems to get by with things that – it just, it doesn’t make any sense to me how a person can get by with the things that he does. With the way that employees are treated, with the things that he does that are just wrong.”