Two former utility workers have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that they were forced to work extra hours, but were not compensated for the overtime hours they worked. The lawsuit claims the company had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, and is seeking unpaid wages and punitive damages.
The attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the two former employees is also seeking class action status, which would allow other former and current employees with similar complaints to also join in on the lawsuit. The claim is that all of the hourly customer service associates who worked for the company for at least the past three years were forced to work in excess of 40 hours per week, but were not compensated for their time.
According to the two employees who filed the recent lawsuit, they were required to work more than 40 hours a week but were not paid for their overtime, which should have been time and a half of their regular pay. Part of this overtime pay also stems from supposedly having to come in earlier before shifts to prepare work spaces and cash drawers, and then have to also continuing working after clocking out to count their cash drawer and deposits.
In addition to the unpaid overtime, the lawsuit also claims that the company forced them to work through breaks, and that they were not paid for their lunch breaks.
One of the employees who filed the lawsuit said that she was considered a “floating” associate who would sometimes have to travel to three different company locations during the day, but that she was not paid for her travel time.
Looking to the future of this case, an attorney for the former employees is seeking class action status, but there is no word yet on how many employees that could potentially include.
Source: San Antonio Express, “SAWS hit with lawsuit on pay,” Guillermo Contreras, 18 May 2011
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