Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


6 Months Ended
Aug. 01, 2015
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  

The Company is a defendant in legal proceedings including those described below and will vigorously defend itself in these matters. The Company does not believe that any of these matters will, individually or in the aggregate, have a material effect on its business or financial condition. The Company cannot give assurance, however, that one or more of these matters will not have a material effect on its results of operations for the periods in which they are resolved.

The Company assesses its legal proceedings and reserves are established if a loss is probable and the amount of such loss can be reasonably estimated. Many if not substantially all of the contingencies described below are subject to significant uncertainties and, therefore, determining the likelihood of a loss and the measurement of any loss can be complex and subject to judgment. With respect to legal proceedings where the Company has determined that a loss is reasonably possible but not probable, the Company is unable to estimate the amount or range of reasonably possible loss due to the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of and uncertainties regarding legal proceedings. The Company’s assessments are based on estimates and assumptions that have been deemed reasonable by management, but that may prove to be incomplete or inaccurate, and unanticipated events and circumstances may occur that might cause the Company to change those estimates and assumptions. Management’s assessment of legal proceedings could change because of future determinations or the discovery of facts which are not presently known. Accordingly, the ultimate costs of resolving these proceedings may be substantially higher or lower than currently estimated.
Dollar Tree Active Matters

Winn-Dixie Stores instituted suit in a Florida federal court alleging that the Company sold products in certain stores in violation of a lease exclusive. In August 2012, the court denied Winn-Dixie's claim for damages. Winn-Dixie appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which affirmed that Winn-Dixie is not entitled to damages. However, it also held that Winn-Dixie's restriction for certain Florida stores required the Company to restrict its sales of food and "many household supplies." The 11th Circuit remanded the case for a new trial to determine the definition of "many household supplies" and other issues. The lower court decided these issues in April 2015. Dollar Tree has changed its operation of thirty Florida stores to comply with the court’s decision. Winn-Dixie has now appealed the decision.

In 2011, an assistant store manager and an hourly associate filed a collective action against the Company alleging they were forced to work off the clock in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state law. A federal judge in Virginia ruled that all claims made on behalf of assistant store managers under both the FLSA and state law should be dismissed. The court, however, certified an opt-in collective action under the FLSA on behalf of hourly sales associates. Approximately 4,300 plaintiffs remain in the case. The court denied the Company's motion to decertify the collective action as well as a proposed settlement. The case is now continuing.

In 2013, a former assistant store manager on behalf of himself and others alleged to be similarly aggrieved filed a representative Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA") claim under California law currently pending in federal court in California. The suit alleges that the Company failed to provide uninterrupted meal periods and rest breaks; failed to pay minimum, regular and overtime wages; failed to maintain accurate time records and wage statements; and failed to pay wages due upon termination of employment. A trial date on the individual claim has been set for March 2016.

In May 2014, a former assistant store manager filed a putative class action in a California state court for alleged failure to provide meal periods, overtime, timely payment of wages during employment and upon termination, failure to provide accurate wage statements, as well as for alleged failure to indemnify employees for business expenses in violation of California labor laws. Discovery has not commenced and no trial date has been set.

In May 2014, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") began a staff investigation of circumstances related to Letters of Advice that the Company received from the CPSC from 2009 to 2013. The CPSC is now investigating Letters of Advice the Company received in 2014 and 2015. It is possible for a penalty and an injunction to be issued against the Company. The outcome of this matter cannot be determined at this time.

In April 2015, a distribution center employee filed a class action in California state court with allegations concerning wages, meal and rest breaks, recovery periods, wage statements and timely termination pay. Additionally, the employee seeks to certify a nation-wide class of non-exempt distribution employees for overtime compensation. The Company recently removed this lawsuit to Federal Court.

In April 2015, a former store manager filed a class action in California state court alleging store managers were improperly classified as exempt employees and, among other things, did not receive overtime compensation and meal and rest periods and alleging PAGA claims.

Family Dollar Active Matters

In 2008, a Multi-District Litigation forum ("MDL") was created in North Carolina federal court to handle cases alleging FLSA violations against the Company. In the first two cases, the court entered orders finding the plaintiffs were not similarly situated and, therefore, neither nationwide notice nor collective treatment under the FLSA was appropriate. Since that time, the court has granted 60 summary judgments ruling Store Managers are properly classified as exempt from overtime. Presently, there are a total of 10 named plaintiffs in the remaining cases in the MDL, for which the North Carolina Federal Court has not decided the class certification or summary judgment issue.

In 2008, a complaint was filed alleging discriminatory pay practices with respect to the Company's female store managers. This case was pled as a putative class action or collective action under applicable statutes on behalf of all Family Dollar female store managers. The plaintiffs seek recovery of back pay, compensatory and punitive money damages, recovery of attorneys' fees and equitable relief. The case was transferred to North Carolina Federal Court in November 2008. The parties are proceeding with limited discovery. The Company believes the case is fully insured.

In 2013, plaintiffs filed a claim in Massachusetts state court seeking unpaid overtime for a class of current and former Massachusetts Store Managers whom plaintiffs claim are not properly classified as exempt from overtime under Massachusetts law. The Company then removed the case to Federal District court in Massachusetts. In 2014, the case was remanded to state court. The Company has appealed the remand decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and is awaiting that court’s decision.

In 2014, Winn-Dixie Stores instituted suit in a Florida state court alleging that the Company sold products in 57 stores in violation of a lease exclusive. Winn-Dixie seeks damages and injunctive relief limiting the sale of food and other items sold in the Company's stores at issue in the lawsuit. This case is scheduled to be tried in January 2016.

In 2014, the Company was served with a putative class action in Missouri Federal Court alleging that customers received Short Message Service ("SMS") text message advertisements from the Company, without providing appropriate express written consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), seeking all damages available under the TCPA, including statutory damages of $500 - $1,500 per willful violation.

In 2014, a putative class action was filed in a California Federal Court by a former employee alleging that the Company had a policy of requiring employee bag checks while the employees were not clocked in for work. As a result of those actions, the employee alleges the Company violated California law by failing to provide meal periods and rest breaks, failing to pay regular and overtime wages for work performed off the clock, failing to provide accurate wage statements, failing timely to pay all final wages and by engaging in unfair competition. He has also alleges PAGA claims. While employed by the Company, the plaintiff agreed to arbitrate matters related to his employment. Accordingly, the Company filed a motion to compel arbitration and is awaiting the court’s ruling on that motion.

In 2014, a former employee brought a putative class action and asserted claims under PAGA alleging the Company failed to provide suitable seating to its California store employees. Mediation has been scheduled for September 23, 2015. In the meantime, the case has been stayed pending a ruling by the California Supreme Court on a case in which the court is expected to provide guidance as to what the Company’s obligations are with regard to suitable seating.

In 2015, a lawsuit was brought as a collective action in Florida Federal Court on behalf of the plaintiff and other similarly situated Family Dollar store managers alleging the store managers are misclassified as being exempt from overtime under the FLSA. The Company then filed a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative to Stay the Case, a Motion to Compel Arbitration, and a Motion to Strike the Collective Action Allegations. Briefing is completed on these motions and they are currently pending before the court.

Resolved Matters

In 2012, a former assistant store manager, on behalf of himself and those alleged to be similarly situated, filed a putative class action in a California state court, alleging the Company failed to provide rest breaks to assistant store managers. The class was decertified in July 2015 and the case has now been resolved.

In 2013, district attorneys in California initiated an investigation of whether the Company properly disposed of certain damaged retail products under Federal and California state environmental law, primarily the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The Company has settled this matter in 2015 and has fully paid the settlement amount.

In 2014, several shareholders of Family Dollar filed class actions, now consolidated into one class action, in Delaware chancery court against Family Dollar’s CEO and board members alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Dollar Tree and Family Dollar were also named as defendants for allegedly aiding and abetting the other defendants. The Delaware Chancery Court and appellate court refused to issue an injunction against the Family Dollar shareholder vote in favor of the merger. The case was dismissed in August 2015 and was settled for an immaterial amount.