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A lawsuit accusing Borders Group Inc. of denying overtime compensation in violation of California law will be heard as a class action, the company said Wednesday.

The Superior Court of California granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification on Monday, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The class consists of all individuals who worked as assistant managers in a Borders superstore in California at any time between April 10, 1996 and March 18, 2001.

The book and music retailer said it intends to ``vigorously'' defend itself against the allegations.

Shares of Borders were down 30 cents to close at $17.70 in trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.