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Under Armour settles overtime lawsuit by former employee

Under Armour has settled a federal lawsuit with a former employee who sued for back pay last year, according to online court records filed Thursday.

The Baltimore sports apparel company settled the claims for $15,000, of which the former employee will be entitled to $5,000, including lost wages and liquidated damages. The rest of the money will go toward attorneys’ fees, court records state.

“Based on the information, documents and other discovery exchanged, the Parties believe that the offer of settlement is fair, reasonable and provides complete relief to Plaintiff,” both sides said in a joint settlement memo.

Stephen Brianas filed suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in October 2017, alleging he was wrongly classified as a salaried employee and is entitled to overtime pay. He claimed analysts were forced to work as much as 60 hours a week to finish work on time.

In December last year, Under Armour denied all claims regarding overtime work in its response. It also rejected Brianas’ description of analysts’ work as “routine” and that analysts in the company’s “Brand House” factory store were entitled to overtime.

Brianas began working at Under Armour in 2011. The company classified analysts as salaried employees, despite the routine nature of the work, to get around overtime requirements, the lawsuit alleged.

“Although Plaintiffs and other allocation analysts’ job title may raise the inference that they were exempt employees, the title was just a facade,” the lawsuit said, comparing the work to basic data entry.

In its response, Under Armour claimed that it had no more than five allocation analysts in its Brand House when Brianas worked at the company. However, the lawsuit described “dozens” of current and former employees who may have been underpaid and worked in Under Armour’s Brand House, factory stores, wholesale retail or internet sales departments.

Judge Richard D. Bennett declined to certify a class action in May.

Analysts were scheduled to work a typical Monday-Friday schedule from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a one hour lunch break. But most weekdays, the analysts worked 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and then six-to-10 hours on the weekends because of the demands of the job and understaffing, according to the complaint.

Brianas worked at Under Armour until June 2017, at which time he alleged his department rarely had more than two analysts. Problems with the software that analysts were required to use also forced them to work longer hours, the lawsuit stated. Under Armour denied both of those claims.

Brianas’ lawsuit alleged he and other analysts should have been paid time-and-a-half for every hour they worked beyond the scheduled 40 hours, as their work did not fit any exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Maryland Wage and Hour Law or the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law.

Brianas’ attorney, Benjamin L Davis, III of the Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl in Baltimore, and a spokesperson for Under Armour did not immediately return requests for comment on Friday.

The case is Brianas v. Under Armour, Inc., No 1:17-cv-02928-RDB.

 


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