NORFOLK, Va. - A federal judge is allowing a class action suit by Dollar Tree Inc. workers to move forward.

The Chesapeake-based company had asked a U.S. District judge in Norfolk to break up the group of about 4,000 hourly employees who have sued the discount retailer.

The employees claim Dollar Tree owes them money for time they worked "off the clock."

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Dollar Tree argued the workers' experiences varied too much for them to qualify as one representative group. The judge disagreed in a decision Monday.

The workers claim that they often worked off the clock during meal breaks, to make bank deposits and for other reasons and are owed for that time. They allege that Dollar Tree's corporate practices violate federal and state wage laws.