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    Unpaid Overtime

    Blog Unpaid Overtime

    Have you been denied overtime pay?

    The Fair Labor Standard Act which has been established since the 1930s requires an employer to pay overtime pay for all workers who work over 40 hours. When someone has not been paid overtime their remedy is bring a claim against the employer for the overtime pay plus liquidated damages and attorney fees.

    In a recent case in the Eastern District of Louisiana Babin, et al v. Plaquemine Parish, Kopfler & Hermann along with Stiegler Law Firm represented 4 paramedics and EMTs employees as against the Parish of Plaquemine. The Parish had taken the position for many years they had developed a payment plan whereby the ambulance personnel, paramedics and EMTs did not receive any overtime at time and half. Each ambulance employee worked either at fire stations or at trailers provided by the Parish of Plaquemines. The Parish contended that the ambulance personnel were not entitled to overtime beyond 40 because they were on standby. The Parish had chosen to ignore long standing Supreme Court jurisprudence which held that standby time was compensable.

    Suit was instituted in the Eastern District of Louisiana against the Parish of Plaquemines and after a hard-fought battle the 4 workers prevailed. The case was actually tried two times before conclusion. In the first trial the jury found that the work done by the emergency personnel was for the benefit of the Parish of Plaquemines but with a mixed result. The plaintiffs moved for a new trial and it was granted. At the second trial the results were similar. The parties took an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and that tribunal overturned the trial judge directing the trial court to enter a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

    The claimants together received hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay and liquidated damages. Following entry of judgment, the Parish of Plaquemines agreed to pay attorney fees and expenses in excess of $274,816.00 to Kopfler & Hermann and Stiegler Law Firm.

    Importantly, following the successful result, the Parish of Plaquemines began paying overtime to all ambulance emergency personnel. Overtime pay of all the other personnel who had not received overtime pay was calculated for the previous two years and the Parish of Plaquemines issued checks to each one of those individuals. The cause of action brought by four aggrieved ambulance personnel benefited all of their co-employees even though they were not part of the litigation.

    If you or your friends or relatives are involved in a situation where they have not been paid time and half for hours worked over 40, contact Kopfler & Hermann to review your case. You may be entitled to overtime pay, liquidated damages and attorney fees for the failure of your employer to compensate you in accordance with the Fair Labor Standard Act.