PetSmart now finds itself embroiled in a class-action lawsuit in California. The lawsuit addresses training programs and what the plaintiffs allege to be violations of state wage and hour laws.
PetSmart and a unique class-action lawsuit
PetSmart offers more than retail products for pet owners. The company provides grooming services and access to trained groomers. Many groomers enter their new careers by enrolling in PetSmart’s training program. A class action lawsuit now challenges PetSmart’s business practices regarding its groomer training services.
The lawsuit claims that PetSmart does not offer adequate training and supervision, and those in the training program will groom customer dogs without added financial commissions for specific hours. Also, the training program comes with thousands of dollars in tuition costs that are free – provided the worker completes two years of service. Those who do not finish the two years of work at allegedly low wages would have to repay PetSmart for the training.
The class-action lawsuit claims PetSmart’s deal is not legal and serves as a workaround that circumvents established compensation laws. Also, the lawsuit suggests that the PetSmart program is illegal under California law.
If the class-action lawsuit against PetSmart succeeds, there could be a ripple effect. Other companies employing the same practices may alter their behavior to avoid litigation.
Class-actions differ from traditional single plaintiff lawsuits because they involve a group of people. Several plaintiffs seeking similar or identical resolutions join a lawsuit brought by a particular party. Typically, if the plaintiff wins the lawsuit, all the parties to the class-action suit would share in the judgment.
A class-action lawsuit may end in a settlement. For some, a settlement would be preferable to a lengthy trial that a losing defendant could appeal.