|9 Months Ended
Oct. 28, 2017
|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 quarter or year 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 the 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
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. The employee filed an amended complaint in which he abandoned his attempt to certify a nation-wide class of non-exempt distribution center employees for alleged improper calculation of overtime compensation. The Company removed this lawsuit to federal court. The court is now considering the employee’s motion to certify the case as a state-wide class action.
In April 2015, a former store manager filed a class action in California federal court alleging, among other things, that the Company failed to make wage statements readily available to employees who did not receive paper checks. On November 7, 2017, the jury found in favor of the Company. The time for plaintiff to appeal that verdict has not yet run.
In April 2016, the Company was served with a putative class action in Florida state court brought by a former store employee asserting the Company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the way it handled background checks. The plaintiff is seeking statutory damages of $100 to $1,000 per violation for the disclosure form claims.
In June 2017, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar filed suit in chancery court in Delaware against Sycamore Partners and Dollar Express LLC alleging, among other things, fraud, fraudulent transfer, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. The Company is seeking in excess of $52.0 million for the failure of Dollar Express to pay the Company for goods and services the Company provided to Sycamore’s Dollar Express stores. The Company is also seeking substantial damages for the unauthorized use of its marks. Sycamore and Dollar Express responded in part by denying liability and filing a counterclaim against the Company alleging the Company had successfully engaged in a scheme to put Dollar Express out of business, seeking more than $500 million in damages.
In July 2017, two former employees filed suit in federal court in California, seeking to represent a class of current and former non-exempt employees alleging that the Company’s dress code required them to purchase such distinctive clothing that it constituted a uniform and the Company’s failure to reimburse them for the clothing violated California law. The former employees seek restitution, damages, penalties and injunctive relief.
In August 2017, 43 current and former employees filed suit against the Company in state court in California alleging improper classification as exempt employees which they allege resulted in, among other things, their failure to receive overtime compensation, rest and meal periods, accurate wage statements, and final pay upon termination of employment. The Company has removed the case to federal court.
In August 2017, a former employee brought suit in California state court on a Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA") representative basis alleging the Company failed to provide him and all other California store associates with suitable seating when they were performing cashier functions.
In November 2017, a current employee filed a PAGA representative action in California state court alleging the Company failed to make wage statements readily available to California store employees who do not receive paper checks.
Several recent lawsuits were filed against Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and their vendors alleging that personal powder products caused cancer. The Company does not believe the products it sold caused the illnesses. The Company believes these lawsuits are insured and it is seeking indemnification from third parties.
Dollar Tree Resolved Matters
In April 2016, a former store manager filed a lawsuit in California state court alleging individual claims of pregnancy and disability discrimination in addition to asserting PAGA claims on behalf of herself and other store managers alleging they were improperly classified as exempt and therefore, among other things, did not receive overtime compensation and meal and rest periods. The parties have reached a settlement as to all claims.
In July 2016, a former non-exempt sales associate filed in federal court in Arkansas a putative nationwide collective action alleging the Company forced sales associates and assistant store managers to work off the clock while clocked out for meal breaks and, as a result, underpaid regular and overtime pay. In September 2016, the court granted the Company’s motion to compel arbitration. To date, the former associate has not initiated any arbitration proceedings.
In March 2017, a former store manager filed suit in a state court in Florida, seeking to represent a collective, alleging failure to pay non-exempt employees minimum wage for all time worked and overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and, individually, alleging race discrimination and retaliation in violation of federal and state civil rights laws. Pursuant to Court order, the case has been sent to arbitration.
Family Dollar Active Matters
In 2008, a complaint was filed alleging discriminatory practices with respect to the pay of Family Dollar's female store managers. Among other things, the plaintiffs seek recovery of back pay, monetary and punitive remedies, interest, attorneys' fees, and equitable relief. In June 2016, the United States District Court in North Carolina ordered that the case be continued for merits discovery. The court also certified the case as a class action of approximately 30,000 current and former female store managers employed as far back as July 2002. A preliminary settlement has been reached in this case and has been properly recorded by the Company. Other aspects of the settlement agreement are still being finalized.
In January 2017, a customer filed a class action in federal court in Illinois alleging the Company violated various state consumer fraud laws as well as express and implied warranties by selling a product that purported to contain aloe when it did not. The requested class is limited to the state of Illinois. The Company believes that it is fully indemnified by the entities that supplied it with the product.
In April 2017, a former store employee filed a lawsuit in California state court alleging off the clock work primarily for bag checks, failure to pay overtime, failure to provide rest and meal breaks, failure to pay wages timely during and upon termination of employment and failure to provide accurate wage statements. The court granted the Company’s motion to compel arbitration and stayed the case pending the outcome of the arbitration proceedings. Subsequently, the court allowed plaintiff to amend her complaint to include PAGA claims, on behalf of herself and others, which are not subject to arbitration. However, those claims remain stayed pending the outcome of the arbitration proceeding.
In June 2017, a former store employee filed suit in California state court asserting PAGA claims on behalf of herself and other allegedly aggrieved employees alleging the Company willfully caused their work time to go under reported so they failed to receive pay for time worked, rest and meal breaks, minimum wage and overtime compensation, final pay in a timely manner, and accurate wage statements.
Family Dollar Resolved Matters
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 alleged 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 to timely pay all final wages and by engaging in unfair competition. He also alleged PAGA claims. In July 2017, the Court granted the Company’s motion for summary judgment as to all claims and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice.
In 2015, former employees filed a nationwide class action in federal court in Connecticut alleging the Company had violated ERISA by overcharging employees who purchased supplemental life insurance through a Company sponsored plan. In March 2016, the district court dismissed the lawsuit. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has now affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit.