Cole Haan is the latest brand to be named in a lawsuit for allegedly “systematically denying store employees overtime pay and meal or rest breaks.” According to former Cole Haan employee, Alex Chin’s proposed class action lawsuit, which was filed in state court in California last month and subsequently removed to federal court, the New Hampshire-based footwear and accessories brand denied him and nearly 1,000 other employees of overtime pay.
In his $5 million-plus lawsuit, Chin alleges that Cole Haan “engaged in a uniform policy and systematic scheme of wage abuse against their hourly-paid or non-exempt employees within the State of California. This scheme involved, inter alia, failing to pay them for all hours worked,” including overtime pay. Chin further claims that Cole Haan failed to provide employees with legally mandated rest periods and meal periods. Per California state law, “[a]n employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes” and “[a]n employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes.” Furthermore, the law requires employers to pay an extra hour’s pay to employees who are not provided a meal period, or authorized and permitted a rest period.
And in case that’s night enough, Chin, who worked for Cole Haan between 2006 and 2013, alleges that the company failed to “to keep complete or accurate payroll records in violation of California Labor Code” and failed “‘at all material times’ to timely pay Plaintiff and the other putative class members ‘all wages owed to them upon discharge or resignation’” as required by state law.
As a result of such alleged violations, Chin has asked the court to certify his proposed class action suit, which would allow him and about 870 other possible plaintiffs, who worked “within the State of California at any time during the period from four years preceding the filing of this Complaint to final judgment,” to join in the suit.