OVERTIME LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST MILLER PIPELINE FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES’ UNPAID PRE-SHIFT AND OTHER WORK
Coffman Legal’s Ohio FLSA Overtime Attorneys filed a Collective and Class Action Lawsuit against Miller Pipeline, LLC for failing to compensate its hourly field employees for travel time spent during the continuous workday to and from job sites.
On August 7, 2020, the law firm of Coffman Legal, LLC filed a Collective and Class Action Complaint against Defendant Miller Pipeline, LLC (“Miller”) on behalf of hourly field employees for the alleged failure of Miller to compensate its employees for overtime wages earned for all overtime work performed in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act (“FLSA”).
Miller is a company that operates underground pipeline construction and repair operations throughout the United States.
The Complaint alleges that Miller requires its hourly field employees to arrive prior to the start of their scheduled shift to engage in pre-shift, preparatory job duties, which included, but are not limited to, gathering supplies necessary to perform their job duties, loading the work vehicle, inspecting the work vehicle’s tires and oil, and warming up the vehicle so it is ready to leave at the beginning of the scheduled shift. Additionally, Miller hourly field employees allege that they were required to drive Miller’s work vehicle back to its facilities and unload the vehicle before finishing their shifts. The Complaint alleges that all time spent preparing the employees and work vehicle for departure, during travel to and from the worksite, and unloading the work vehicle once it was returned to the facility was uncompensated.
The Complaint further alleges that Miller has a companywide policy of automatically deducting 30 minutes of time from its hourly field employees’ daily hours worked for meal breaks that were not taken at all or that were only partially taken. These employees allege that they were either unable to take their meal break or it was otherwise interrupted.
Field employees includes employees working as Laborers or Traffic Control, Technicians, and Operators. Any uncompensated work for the activities described above may have resulted in unpaid overtime being due to the employees.
The FLSA requires an employer to pay employees for their work. Time spent completing pre-shift and post-shift duties, which are integral and indispensable to the principal activities performed by employees, is compensable work time because employees cannot perform their work without performing their pre-shift and post-shift duties.
Further, if an employer requires its employees to take an unpaid meal break, then it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the employee is completely relieved from their job duties so they can solely eat a meal.
The Complaint alleges these job duties were integral and indispensable to the hourly field employees’ primary job activities, and as such, they should have been compensated for the time spent performing the work at the beginning and end of workdays. In addition, the Complaint alleges these hourly field employees did not receive a bona fide meal break because they were not completely relieved from their job duties.
This lawsuit provides an example of how an employer can underpay its employees in violation of the FLSA by not fully paying them all overtime wages earned for all overtime work that they perform. This unpaid time often results in unpaid overtime which adds up over the course of an employee’s employment. The FLSA sets forth the minimum compensation employees must be paid, and non-exempt hourly employees are entitled to receive full and proper compensation under the FLSA, including overtime.
The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages since August 7, 2017, liquidated damages in an amount equal to the unpaid overtime, attorney’s fees, and costs, among other things.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Columbus) and is titled O’Neil v. Miller Pipeline, LLC, Case No. 2:20-cv-4034.
Additional information about the collective and class action against Miller may be found by contacting our office by calling 614-949-1181 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about whether you are being properly paid all overtime wages earned for all of the compensable hours you work (including overtime), then contact our office today to speak with our Overtime Attorneys regarding any wage and hour issues.