Understandably, county workers in Florida expect fair treatment when it comes to their wages and the hours they put in on the job. Water-treatment employees in another state who had such expectations were reportedly disillusioned. A total of 151 workers filed a class action lawsuit against the county back in 2011. It has now been reported that the county has agreed to pay a $795,000 settlement in what it stated was a compromise with no admission of liability in the case alleging violations of wage and hour law.
The lawsuit was initially filed by three workers and later joined by more employees. According to the court documents, the county's regulations prohibited employees from taking their work gear home and arrive at work already wearing it. However, the time workers spent on preshift duties such as dressing in the appropriate safety gear, attending briefings and more was not included when their wages were calculated.
Plaintiffs asserted they filed a grievance about not being paid for duties in the locker room before and after shifts, but it was denied some months after filing. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs accused the county of violating minimum wage laws and labor laws. Allegations also stated that employment laws were further violated by the failure to keep accurate records of the work hours of employees.
Florida workers who are victims of wage and hour law violations may choose to take similar action. An experienced employment law attorney can assess the allegations and assist with gathering evidence. With professional support and guidance, employees may have a better chance of being awarded compensation for unpaid overtime, back wages and any other damages sustained. A skilled lawyer can also represent the client if the defendant chooses to negotiate a potential settlement.
Source: sacbee.com, "Sacramento County to pay $795,000 to water-treatment workers in overtime suit", Darrell Smith, Oct. 19, 2016