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Construction workers attempt to claim unpaid overtime wages

A group of laborers are accusing Primary Structures and restaurateur Frank Chivas of conspiring to commit wage theft. The plaintiffs claim that the two companies worked in conjunction to cheat them out of overtime pay and have turned to the court system for redress. The unpaid overtime complaint against the defendants has been filed in a federal court in Florida.

The head plaintiff claims he was hired to build the Marina Cantina restaurant and routinely worked over 40 hours a week. He alleges that his paycheck was split into two parts: one check from Primary Structures and the other from Marina Cantina. In his Primary Structures check, he claims he was only paid for 36 hours and any other hours that he worked would be from Marina Cantina. The Cantina paycheck apparently was paid at his regular hourly rate and did not have taxes withheld.

The construction worker alleges that he should have been paid time-and-one-half when he worked more than 40 hours, but that did not happen because he had two separate checks. Two other laborers also joined the lawsuit claiming the same thing happened to them. The attorney for the plaintiffs said that this issue could be affecting an entire class of employees, and a motion has been filed to have the case certified as class-action.

The attorney for the defendants stated that the unpaid overtime was a clerical error and Chivas has made efforts to pay the aggrieved Florida employees. Thus far, 12 employees who were affected have apparently been paid twice what they were owed in accordance with the law. An attempt was initially made to resolve the complaint without litigation to give the workers full damages and lost wages, but the case is still heading to court because of the possibility of more than just three people being affected.

Source: tampabaytimes.com, "Restaurateur Frank Chivas' company sued over overtime wages", Tracey McManus, Jan. 7, 2016

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