SOURCE: Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP

February 20, 2009 17:57 ET

Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP Announces That Workers Win $2.5 Million in Jury Verdict Against Staples, Inc.

NEWARK, NJ--(Marketwire - February 20, 2009) - A Newark federal court jury today awarded almost $2.5 million against Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) to 343 plaintiffs in a case brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Following a six week trial, the jury unanimously determined that Staples, Inc. had failed to comply with the law in classifying the employees as exempt under the Act and failing to pay them overtime. The jury also found that Staples had acted willfully in violating the law. Staples' liability could be increased as the Court will next month be hearing applications for the imposition of liquidated damages in an amount equal to the jury verdict and for attorneys' costs and fees.

"This is the first of several collective and class action lawsuits against Staples for misclassification of store managers that are now pending in the federal courts," said Seth Lesser of Klafter Olsen & Lesser, one of the plaintiffs' two trial counsel. "We hope to be able to now move those other cases to trial on behalf of the rest of Staples managers."

Michael Galpern of the Locks Law Firm LLP, the lead trial counsel, added, "We had faith in the jury's ability to discern the truth and recognize that these hard-working employees were entitled to compensation."

"Our Staples case is one of the first FLSA misclassification suits to be brought before a jury," said Gary E. Mason of The Mason Law Firm, L.L.P., one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs. "Staples maintained throughout, and continues to hold the view, that it pays its employees properly. The jury's decision has definitively proven the company wrong."

Plaintiffs were represented by Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP of White Plains, New York and Washington, D.C.; the Locks Law Firm LLC of New York, New York, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The Mason Law Firm, L.L.P of Washington, D.C.

Plaintiffs were also represented by Jeff Gottlieb, Esq., and Berger & Associates.

For further information, please contact Seth R. Lesser of Klafter Olsen & Lesser, 914-997-5656, seth@klafterolsen.com or Michael Galpern of Locks Law Firm LLP at 856-663-8200, mgalpern@lockslaw.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Seth R. Lesser
    Klafter Olsen & Lesser
    914-997-5656
    Email Contact

    Michael Galpern
    Locks Law Firm LLP
    856-663-8200
    Email Contact