Employee Hits Blockbuster with OT Suit

April 22, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Video rental giant Blockbuster has been hit with a lawsuit in Dallas charging it with intentionally refusing to pay overtime to a large number of its office employees.

According to a news release from plaintiff attorney Matt Hill, the suit was filed by a former employee and describes an alleged plan by Blockbuster to trick its employees into believing that they were not entitled to recover for overtime they worked. The suit seeks to represent other similarly situated employees as well.

Hill alleged that Blockbuster converted a large number of employees from salaried to hourly in August 2004, telling them in meetings, memos and publications that they were entitled to overtime only under new federal regulations. Blockbuster did not tell its employees, the suit claims, that the converted employees had been entitled to overtime before the new regulations.

Blockbuster again tried to mislead its employees, the suit claims, by soliciting legal releases from newly laid off workers that would appear to surrender the employee’s right to pursue the overtime Blockbuster owes without conforming to the law on the release of wage claims.

The suit seeks to recover overtime wages for hours worked by all employees who were converted from salaried to hourly in Blockbuster’s corporate offices, according to the news release.