A pharmacist working for CVS Caremark Corp. has filed a putative class and collective action against the drugstore chain in the Pennsylvania federal court. It was alleged the company denies overtime to hundreds of subordinate and floater pharmacists working at its stores. The Plaintiff, Junius Baugh, claims in the suit that CVS regularly fails to pay its pharmacists — many of whom “float” from store to store, filling in for absent pharmacists — time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Pennsylvania wage laws.
It was alleged that while paychecks for the pharmacists demonstrate they regularly work 50 or more hours a week, they are still being paid for these extra hours at straight time rates with no explanation provided by the company. Baugh claims he clocked more than 50 hours a week on at least 10 separate occasions during his time working for CVS, from October 2011 to October 2012. He didn’t receive the statutorily required time-and-a-half rate for any of those overtime hours, he contends. “Plaintiff and the class/collective members are not exempt from the FLSA or Pennsylvania wage and hour laws because they do not meet any of the tests for exemption,” according to the complaint.
The individual Plaintiff is seeking to represent a federal collective of subordinate and floater pharmacists who have worked at one of CVS’ more than 400 Pennsylvania locations. He also hopes to represent a class of hundreds of pharmacists working in the state under Pennsylvania wage and labor laws. Another group of pharmacists recently failed in their attempt to hold CVS responsible as a class, with a California district judge ruling in December that the Plaintiffs used a software program too broadly in an attempt to demonstrate pharmacists were regularly working overtime without appropriate pay.
The putative class had attempted to demonstrate that their log-ins for Rx Connect, a CVS computer program used to verify, look up and enter prescriptions, demonstrated that they were often working at the store for longer than 40 hours. But U.S. District Judge S. James Otero in the California case disagreed, saying that employees often used one another’s log-ins and noting that much of the expert’s analysis had to drop the RX Connect data because of false positives. He declined to certify the class in that suit. The Pennsylvania suit is in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.