Lawsuits filed in Texas over employer violations of FLSA unpaid overtime laws

by Eric Pearson

Several recent lawsuits have been filed in Texas by workers who allege that they were not properly compensated for overtime work by their employers. The lawsuits allege that the companies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law that guarantees a 40 hour work week and additional compensation for overtime work in excess of 40 hours.

David Vogel, a former assembly mechanic at National Oilwell Varco LP, filed a class action lawsuit for unpaid overtime in September 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The lawsuit alleged that National Oilwell violated the FLSA by forcing employees to work unpaid overtime in excess of their normal 40 hour work week.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Vogel and other similarly situated National Oilwell workers who were not paid time-and-a-half for their overtime work. The class action complaint seeks back pay for unpaid overtime wages, attorney fees, court costs, and other damages.

In October 2015, a former employee at an Internet-based learning company in Harris County, Texas filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas for alleged FLSA unpaid overtime violations. Monica Brown alleged that she did not receive paid overtime while working as a test proctor and IT troubleshooter at Elevate Learning.

Brown alleges that although she often worked more than 40 hours per week, she received a flat wage of $120/day, and did not receive overtime for working longer than her normal shift. She also alleges that she often had to arrive early and stay late to complete the job duties required by Elevate Learning, even though she was not compensated for this overtime work. Brown seeks to recover compensation from Elevate Learning for her unpaid overtime, as well as additional damages, attorney fees, and court costs.

Another class action lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Texas in December by a Missouri City, Texas man against a metal tubing company where he worked. The lawsuit alleges that Sudiek Brown and other workers at Cole International Tubular Service were paid a salary and bonuses but no overtime, despite the fact that they sometimes worked more than their usual 40 hour work week.

Brown’s lawsuit alleges that Cole violated FLSA federal overtime laws by failing to properly compensate employees for working more than 40 hours per week. The class action lawsuit seeks back pay for unpaid overtime, damages, court costs, and attorney fees. Brown has also asked the court to order an accounting of the books at Cole to determine if additional damages are warranted.

An FLSA unpaid overtime lawsuit was also filed in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas by a drilling operator against the oilfield services company where he worked. In his lawsuit, Nicholas Leiker alleges that he and other workers at Bluestar Directional LLC were misclassified as independent contractors by the company so that it could avoid paying them overtime wages under the FLSA.

According to the lawsuit, Leiker and his co-workers were paid a flat rate for each day they worked at Bluestar. However, the company failed to pay time-and-half to Leiker or his fellow workers in compensation for their overtime work. The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages, damages equal to the unpaid overtime, and court costs.

Thousands of FLSA Lawsuits Filed For Unpaid Overtime, Labor Violations

Thousands of FLSA lawsuits and class action cases are filed each year by workers who allege that they were not fairly paid for their overtime work. FLSA non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week and were not paid time and a half for their overtime work may also have grounds to file a lawsuit or a class action case against their employer under the FLSA.

Despite the increased vigilance on the part of many employers due to the rise in lawsuits filed over violations of federal labor laws, many employees continue to be victims of unfair payment practices. As we recently reported, lawsuits over FLSA violations have risen for two years in a row, climbing to nearly 8,000 cases in 2014.

Workers who are subject to overtime violations or other improper payment practices may be eligible to file a lawsuit under FLSA and receive back pay or other compensation. FLSA lawsuits that are filed on behalf of individual workers or as a class action may allege that an employer failed to properly pay workers for the time they spent on the job or denied other benefits to which they are entitled under federal labor laws.

The first step in filing a class action lawsuit and recovering unpaid benefits from an employer is to secure the services of an attorney with experience in handling class action litigation. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed class action lawsuits across the country on behalf of workers and other individuals who have been harmed by the conduct of businesses. If you were the victim of FLSA violations in the workplace, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit or join an existing class action lawsuit.

If you believe you may have a FLSA complaint involving unpaid overtime or other violations of federal labor laws, contact the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by following the link to the free consultation form on this website to find out more about your legal rights.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.