(Updates that Home Depot could not comment, paragraph 4)
By Alexandria Sage
SAN FRANCISCO, July 21 (Reuters) - Home Depot Inc (HD.N) was sued on Tuesday by a group of former employees who claim the retailer did not pay overtime wages for three years to its assistant managers at Illinois stores.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, seeks class-action status.
The complaint accuses Home Depot deliberately misclassifying the plaintiffs as “exempt” from overtime, which is paid to workers after 40 hours per week.
Home Depot said it could not comment as it had not yet seen the lawsuit.
The three plaintiffs said in the lawsuit that they were unlawfully deprived of wages when Home Depot required them to work at least 55 hours per week and they were not paid time and a half for time over 40 hours.
The lawsuit accused Home Depot of having a policy of terminating assistant store managers and reducing their salaries if they do not work the eleven hour minimum shift for which assistant managers are scheduled.
The lawsuit claimed that the practice is widespread at Home Depot and that it affects all of the company’s assistant managers in Illinois, where, it added, some 57 Home Depot stores operated in the past three years.
The lawsuit is seeking past unpaid wages and punitive damages. (Reporting by Alexandria Sage)