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Wage case against grocer ends in settlement

Employees alleged Hy-Vee failed to pay overtime

A confidential settlement ended a class action lawsuit claiming that a grocery store chain required some of its employees to perform uncompensated work.

The suit was originally filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of Lisa Adams, a former Hy-Vee manager who claimed that the store failed to pay her overtime. Adams alleged that although she typically worked between 50 and 60 hours per week, she was paid only for 45 hours. Hy-Vee denied the claims.

The suit was originally brought under Missouri’s minimum wage law, but after Iowa-based Hy-Vee removed the case to federal court, the plaintiff broadened the suit by adding claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Hy-Vee operates in eight Midwestern states.

In May 2012, senior U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple conditionally certified a class of current and former Hy-Vee employees who were classified as salary nonexempt and who worked more than 40 hours a week during a three-year period. According to court records, 133 people other than the named plaintiff opted into the class.

The parties reached a confidential settlement in March 2013. The court approved the agreement on Aug. 21. Jeannie DeVeney, an attorney for Hy-Vee, said the store did not admit fault.

Confidential Settlement

Fair Labor Standards Act

Venue: U.S. District Court for Western District of Missouri

Case Number/Date: 4:11-cv-449/Aug. 21, 2013

Judge: Dean Whipple

Caption: Lisa Adams v. Hy-Vee Inc.

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: George Hanson and Ashlea Schwarz, Stueve Siegel Hanson, Kansas City; Bradford B. Lear and Todd C. Werts, Lear Werts, Columbia

Defendant’s Attorneys: Jeannie DeVeney, Anne Baggott, Nicholas Billman and Daniel Boatright, Littler Mendelson, Kansas City