Stillman, et al. v. Staples, Inc., 2009 WL 1437817 (D.N.J., May 15, 2009) – As previously reported in the March 2009 issue of The New Jersey eAuthority, a Newark jury recently awarded $2.5 million in damages to 343 Staples sales managers who claimed they were misclassified as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and thereby denied overtime. Staples subsequently filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial.
Judge Patty Shwartz denied Staples’ motion, concluding that the verdict was supported by evidence that the company’s violation of the FLSA was willful, thereby entitling the plaintiffs to liquidated damages in an amount equal to the jury verdict. She further concluded that the plaintiffs had proven damages sustained by non-testifying plaintiffs, and that the testifying plaintiffs were representative of the class. The judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion for pre-judgment interest, however, noting that it would result in a windfall.