A federal lawsuit filed against Ingles Markets Inc. claims the supermarket chain has failed to pay employees for overtime they have worked.
Nathan D. Gilliard is suing Ingles on behalf of himself and other employees, claiming that the company has deprived salaried, nonexempt employees of overtime earnings in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
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According to the lawsuit, Gilliard has been a salaried nonexempt co-manager with Ingles since 2008. He claims that Ingles has willfully refused to pay him and other employees any overtime wages for time worked between 40 and 45 hours a week or pay the federally required time and a half pay for time worked over 40 hours per week. The lawsuit also claims Ingles pays employees a reduced salary if they work less than 36 hours a week.
“I worked long hours at the request of Ingles to serve my customers and help make Ingles Markets successful,” Gilliard said in a statement released by his attorney, Elizabeth Alexander, of Nashville. “Ingles didn’t pay me what it was required to pay me for overtime. We just want to be paid a fair wage for all the hours we’ve worked.”
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Gilliard asks the court to allow other Ingles’ employees similarly affected during the three years before the filing of the lawsuit to join it as plaintiffs. The lawsuit seeks unpaid wages, an extra 100 percent as liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief allowed by the court.
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Asheville, N.C.-based Ingles Markets operates 200 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Virginia.