Latest From The Blog
BOSTON MA (April 9, 2014) – Restaurant Worker Files Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit Against Demos Restaurant
A putative collective action was filed in Massachusetts Federal Court against Delegas Brothers, Inc., the owner and operator of “Demos Restaurant” with locations in Waltham and Watertown.
The suit, brought by a former Demos Restaurant employee Rafael Brooks, alleges that the ownership refused to pay overtime in violation of federal law. The litigation also alleges that the failure to furnish overtime is a pattern and company policy that is common to all of the approximately 10 Demos employees, who are all allegedly similarly situated to the single named Plaintiff.
The suit alleges that from 1996 until October 2013, Brooks worked at Demos Restaurant six days a week for ten hours a day. He performed many services for Demos during that time, including cooking, waiting tables, busing tables, preparing food, cleaning, and as a general laborer.
In a recent trial Court decision, Hon. J. Woodlock has grappled with an issue this office is finding more and more common. A sale is made, a commission is “earned,” it’s calculable and definite, but the employer places within the compensation plan a contingency, a technicality that must be met before the commission is payable. The Wage Act, arguably, does not give employers unlimited discretion to dictate when commissions are earned and payable — in fact, one could argue that the Wage Act limits that discretion in a meaningful way. See, http://bacelaw.com/blog/?p=88.
If the compensation plan includes contingencies prior to the earning of a commission, then those terms will likely be given deference by the Court
If the compensation plan attempts to modify the Wage Act, then those terms are likely unenforceable.
Drawing the line between the Wage Act and the creative terms employers place in sales contracts is no easy task. Here is […]
DirecTV Satellite Installers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Mastec North America Over Unpaid Wages
Boston, MA (July 19, 2013) – A putative class action lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of Hampden County against Mastec North America, Inc., a regional subsidiary of Mastec, Inc. (NYSE: MTZ), the multinational engineering and construction company based in Coral Gables, Florida. According to their web site, Mastec is one of the largest DirecTV installation and services companies in the United States, serving over 200,000 customers each month.
The suit, brought by ten former satellite television installation technicians, alleges that the Plaintiffs installed DirecTV satellite television equipment for Mastec, and were unlawfully classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. It is alleged that the technicians were paid on a “piecework” basis, per installation, but not compensated at an overtime rate during weeks in which they worked for greater than forty hours, among other issues. The litigation alleges that by classifying the technicians as independent contractors, Mastec violated […]
Employers often assume that employees or independent contractors that are paid on a per job or piecework basis do not have to be paid overtime. While paying employees on a piece rate (piecework, per diem, per piece) basis is permissible under both the FLSA and state law, it does not relieve employers of their obligation to pay overtime where applicable, and minimum wage.
Generally, when an employee is paid on a piece rate basis and works overtime hours, the employer determines the employee’s regular rate by dividing the employee’s total weekly earnings by the amount of hours worked in that workweek. See, Mullally v. Waste Mgmt. of Massachusetts, Inc., 452 Mass. 526 (2008) . The regular hourly rate is also defined as “the amount that an employee is regularly paid for each hour of work” and that the rate shall include all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf […]