Libraries, the largest independent library chain in the United States, announced Wednesday that it has paid $12 million to settle a lawsuit brought by former employees who said they were pressured to work long hours for less pay and less benefits.
In a statement, M. i.t., which owns and operates about 2,600 independent bookstores in the U.S., said it will pay $8 million to compensate former employees and other affected workers.
In addition, the company will pay an additional $5 million to the National Labor Relations Board to settle its claim against a former employee who alleges he was discriminated against in retaliation for filing a complaint.
was the target of a class-action lawsuit by former library employees in June 2016, after a former M.iu.t.’s chief executive told employees to work less and report fewer absenteeism issues, according to a statement by M. ii.t.; a class action suit was filed by employees of the same chain in June 2017.
Mii,t.’ attorneys argued that the chain was not liable for the actions of employees because the company had a fiduciary duty to ensure its books were accessible to customers and employees, said Michael F. Schott, Mii, t.’s general counsel.
He added that Mii was not responsible for the employees’ treatment of employees who had complained of workplace harassment.
M ii,t., in response to the lawsuit, said in a statement that the company is cooperating with the court-appointed mediation committee and has no further comment.
Mai.i.,t., was the subject of an investigation by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division and other agencies in 2016.
In May 2017, the agency told Mii that the investigation found that the Mii chain failed to pay employees at least $5,800 per month in overtime and other wage and hour-related compensation, according, to the statement.
In May 2018, the Labor Secretary, Robert L. Bork, announced that the department was investigating whether Mii’s failure to pay wages and overtime had a material impact on employees’ performance, and that the probe would continue for two years.
In August 2018, a federal appeals court upheld the department’s decision to extend the investigation, which had started in 2016, for two more years.
Miu.i.’s statement said that the agreement is a first step in a legal proceeding that is expected to be resolved before the end of the year.
M i. t., a unit of the M ii, t., conglomerate, has more than 30,000 stores in 20 countries.
The chain is based in New York City and operates in 30 states.