According to documents filed in California federal court on January 31, 2014, PetSmart agreed to pay $10 million to settle claims that 16,000 animal groomers/workers (current and former) in more than 130 stores were underpaid.
The suit was originally filed in 2012 with allegations that PetSmart violated labor law. Plaintiffs claimed:
- PetSmart failed to compensate groomers for time spent doing non-grooming duties (i.e. stocking/cleaning).
- PetSmart stylists were paid 50% of the grooming fee. This failed to cover minimum wage requirements for time spent performing non-grooming duties.
- PetSmart failed to compensate hourly employees for helping customers during meal breaks (employees were required to punch out of time clocks at the front of the store while the break rooms were located at the back of the store).
- PetSmart broke California labor law mandating a meal period after 5 hours of work. Hourly employees were allowed 30-minute meal breaks if they worked 6-8 hours.
The approval hearing for the PetSmart settlement has been set for March 7th. Successful settlement would resolve all allegations made against PetSmart by all plaintiffs included in the suit: hourly employees and stylists, grooming trainees as well as grooming salon managers who were employed in a California PetSmart store between May 23, 2008 and the present. The class for terminated PetSmart employees ranges from May 23, 2009 to the present.
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