WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — WPTV learned from the plaintiffs' attorneys that current and former Publix employees in Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties have joined a federal lawsuit against the Florida-based grocer.
The suit claims some department managers of Publix are paid by the hour, but not getting time and a half for their work over 40 hours in a week. It's one of many allegations in the suit against Publix.
According to the lawsuit, the managers and assistant managers of the "bakery, deli, meat, produced, customer service, seafood, floral, and grocery departments" are among those suing.
The suit alleges Publix did not pay them for work for what it called "pre- and post-shift work, time spent working for unpaid meal breaks, and time spent outside of Publix stores doing pick-ups or deliveries."
18 Publix department managers join federal lawsuit
WPTV contacted Publix by phone and email Wednesday for a response but has not heard back.
Lawyers claim the Publix and former Publix managers, worked "off the clock prior to checking in at the start of their shifts and after clocking out at the end of their shifts performing work including…cleaning…stocking, and assisting customers."
"These workers averaged 3-5 unpaid overtime hours per workweek or more," the suit claims.
According to the suit, the department managers are trying to get unpaid overtime pay plus interest and keep Publix from continuing what it calls "unlawful practices."
When the lawsuit was filed last month, Publix released the following statement to WPTV regarding the accusations:
"As a practice, Publix does not comment on pending litigation. However, due to the nature of the claims involved we find it necessary to respond. As an associate-owned company, we are proud to provide our associates with a comprehensive benefits package – including company ownership – in addition to paying our associates in accordance with the law. We take these claims seriously and will respond appropriately."