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Former Marshalls assistant managers sue TJX Cos.

Two former assistant store managers who worked at Marshalls have filed suit in US District Court in Massachusetts against The TJX Companies and related entities, alleging that the company violates wage and hour laws.

The suit, filed Dec. 11, names Marshalls of MA, Inc.; Marmaxx Operating Corp., doing business as Marshalls HomeGoods; Marshalls; T.J. Maxx HomeGoods; and HomeGoods, Inc. The plaintiffs are seeking class action status and are seeking compensation for allegedly unpaid wages, damages and attorney’s fees.

According to the suit, Celina Roberts worked an assistant store manager at Marshall’s in Laredo, Texas. She was hired in May 2008 and promoted in June to the assistant manager position, the suit states. Roberts worked 60 to 70 hours a week and often worked six or seven days a week, according to the suit. As an assistant store manager, she did not receive overtime for working more than 40 hours, the suit said.

Her work was “largely unrelated to the management of the store,” the suit alleges. Rather, Roberts on a daily basis stocked merchandise, cleaned, worked the register, unloaded delivery trucks and the like, the suit alleges.

Roberts alleges she complained to the store manager and to a district manager that she should be paid for the hours she was working and said that, if she had known she would end up working as many hours as an assistant manager, she would have remained a back room coordinator, “performing almost identical duties, and receiving overtime pay,” the suit states.

Plaintiff Anthony Sciotto was hired as an operations assistant store manager at Marshalls in Westbury, N.Y., the suit states, and worked at various other Marshalls locations in New York. The suit alleges that Sciotto worked a minimum of 10 hours a day, five days a week, and at times, up to 70 hours a week.

Like Roberts, the suit alleges, Sciotto largely was not performing managerial duties and was instead performing routine tasks such as stocking merchandise, unloading trucks “and other duties typically expected of hourly employees.”
Sciotto and other assistant store managers “had to perform such non-exempt duties because there were an insufficient number of hourly employees available to perform such tasks,” the suit said.

The suit alleges that Marshalls and HomeGoods stores operate under the same corporate policies and all assistant managers share the same uniform job descriptions.

A spokeswoman for The TJX Companies declined comment, citing company policy regarding pending litgiation.

The lawsuit in Massachusetts mirrors a separate case against T.J. Maxx in U.S. District Court for Eastern New York, which was filed in early 2011 by a former assistant manager in New York. Last November, a federal court judge in New York granted conditional certification for a collective action lawsuit, which is similar to a class-action suit, in that case.

The Massachusetts case against focuses on Marshalls and HomeGoods, rather than T.J. Maxx, but makes similar allegations against the Framingham company.

- Staff Writer Mary Moore, Boston Business Journal

Read original article from Boston Business Journal here