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Ohio attorneys file class-action suit against Menards

A Columbus law firm is suing the Menards retail chain in federal court on behalf of workers who say they weren’t properly paid wages and overtime.

The law firms of Barkan Meizlish, LLP and Anderson2X, PLLC filed a class and collective action lawsuit Thursday against Menard, Inc., the Wisconsin-based operator of about 300 Menards retail stores in 14 states, including Ohio.

The suit alleges that Menards failed to properly pay about 160 current and former hourly Menards employees in 13 states, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws.

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Under the FLSA, employees must be paid for all hours worked, and must be paid overtime at a rate of 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week.

“Short rest breaks lasting 20 minutes or less are considered to be compensable time under the FLSA and must be counted as hours worked,” the law firms said in an announcement.

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The lawsuit charges that Menards requires workers to clock out for short rest breaks and certain store meetings during shifts. It also alleges that Menards required workers to complete job training at home, but failed to pay them for the training.

One of the firms involved in the lawsuit, Barkan Meizlish, has represented about 13 current and former Fuyao Glass America workers who are suing the Moraine manufacturer, also in federal court, making similar allegations about unpaid wages and overtime in that separate case. Fuyao has denied those allegations and is fighting the lawsuit.

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“The fact that an employer as large as Menards required their employees to clock out to use the restroom is unacceptable,” Bob DeRose, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

A message seeking comment was left for a spokesman for Eau Claire, Wisc.-based Menard Inc.

The lawsuit is Griffith, et al. v. Menard, Inc., case No. 2:18-CV-81 and is filed in Columbus federal court.

The Dayton Daily News reported earlier this month that the Fairborn Planning Board approved preliminary plans for a new Menards store next to the recently built Kroger Marketplace on Dayton-Yellow Springs Road.

The retailer will build a 173,000 square-foot retail store, a 27,000 square-foot garden and shipping area and other amenities, according to plans.

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