This page provides up-to-date information and links to important documents regarding the lawsuit filed against Natural Grocers for failure to pay overtime compensation to Assistant Store Managers who work at more than 150 stores located in 19 states. The lawsuit alleges that Assistant Store Managers routinely work more than 40 hours a week in order to perform their job duties but are improperly denied overtime compensation, even though they performed the same job duties as their hourly-paid colleagues. The lawsuit asserts claims under federal and Colorado law. A copy of the legal paperwork describing the claims can be found here and media coverage can be found here.
The lawsuit alleges that Assistant Store Managers spend the majority of their time helping customers, working the cash register, moving products, stocking shelves, setting and resetting displays, counting inventory, cleaning the store, and otherwise standing in as cashiers, stockers, or other hourly workers. It alleges that Natural Grocers has a policy, pattern, and/or practice of misclassifying Assistant Store Managers as exempt from overtime. It seeks to recover all unpaid overtime owed to Assistant Store Managers who work or have worked for Natural Grocers during the last several years.
On November 6, 2020, the judge overseeing the case granted Plaintiff’s request to conditionally certify his federal claim and, in response to receiving notice of the lawsuit, approximately 150 current and former Assistant Store Managers joined (or “opted-in” to) the case.
The parties have spent the last few months in “discovery” and have exchanged documents and information relating to either side’s claims and defenses. A number of individuals (called “opt-ins”) were selected to participate in this process. Discovery will continue for several additional months, at which time the judge will be asked to rule on a number of substantive issues including Plaintiff’s request to certify a class of Assistant Store Managers who worked in Colorado.