Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
Levi Strauss agrees to pay more than $1 million in overtime back wages to nearly 600 employees following US Labor Department investigation
Overtime violations found at retail stores nationwide
SAN FRANCISCO -- Levi Strauss & Co. has agreed to pay $1,011,413 in overtime back wages to 596 employees nationwide after the U.S. Department of Labor found that the company violated overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
An investigation conducted by the San Francisco District Office of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that the San Francisco-based company misclassified several groups of workers, including assistant store managers of newly acquired stores, as exempt from overtime. Although their counterparts at previously existing stores were exempt from overtime compensation, the newly hired employees were not.
“Misclassification of employees has serious and adverse consequences for employees, as well as for corporations,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “When violations of federal labor laws are discovered, this department will take appropriate action to ensure that workers receive the wages they deserve.”
The company failed to record all hours employees worked in its payroll system. Instead, the misclassified assistant store managers were required to work off-the-clock during late night closings, early morning openings and staffing shortages. Various administrative employees working at the company’s headquarters also were misclassified as exempt from FLSA coverage and found to be owed overtime back wages.
This investigation covered back wages for time worked over a two-year period. Levi Strauss has agreed to pay the back wages and committed to upgrade its time and attendance system, as well as maintain future compliance with the law. The applicable employees are now treated as non-exempt under the FLSA.
Founded in San Francisco in 1853, Levi Strauss was the first company to manufacture blue jeans. Today, the company operates 164 retail stores and employs more than 4,000 workers in the U.S., and its global operations span more than 100 countries.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers are required to keep accurate records of all hours worked by covered employees. The FLSA provides an exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay for workers employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. It also exempts certain computer employees. To qualify, employees generally must meet certain tests described in the act regarding their job duties.
For more information about the FLSA, call the Wage and Hour Division’s San Francisco office at 415-625-7720 or its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available on the Internet at www.dol.gov/whd.
Editor’s Note: A list indicating the city locations of Levi Strauss retail stores, offices and distribution centers in 30 states and the District of Columbia follows this news release.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.