A Montgomery law firm has filed a joint lawsuit in federal court, alleging that Dollar General stores intentionally misclassified its store managers as executives to avoid paying them overtime.

About 2,500 former and current Dollar General store managers joined the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham by the Montgomery firm of Beasley Allen. The suit seeks certification as a collective action to join a similar suit filed in Tuscaloosa.

In April 2005, a Tuscaloosa jury awarded plaintiffs in a separate case $38 million, but Dollar General is seeking a retrial. Separate lawsuits have been filed in Birmingham and Columbus, Ga. The judge in the Birmingham case last Friday refused to certify that case as a class-action case but is allowing the 12 named plaintiffs to proceed with their case.

The latest complaint alleges Dollar General Corp., operator of Family Dollar, Dollar General and Fred’s, forces its managers to work 60 to 80 hours a week of manual labor as their primary duty and that they spend as little as 10 percent of their time as managers.

Dollar General has eleven stores in Montgomery, three in Prattville, two in Millbrook and one in Tallassee.

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