On January 14, 2016, a district court judge in Houston ruled in favor of inspectors and inspector coordinators who were employed through global oil, gas, and chemical inspection company Camin Cargo Control who filed a claim against the company. The lawsuit alleges that the employees weren’t fairly compensated for the time they worked beyond their standard 40-hour work weeks.
Did Camin Cargo Control Provide Appropriate Compensation for Overtime Work?
Inspectors and dispatchers of Camin Cargo Control claimed that the company did not comply with overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to include all types of compensation when determining the employees’ regular rate of pay, which then affects their overtime pay. Those filing the lawsuit claimed that Camin Cargo diluted its employees’ overtime rate of pay by disguising it as “reimbursed expenses,” so that it wouldn’t have to pay the proper rate.
The expenses in question related to payments Camin Cargo Control gave to its employees, including those for mileage and offshore pay, and automobile and meal reimbursement. The company misclassified the payments as reimbursements for expenses instead of wages. By disguising the compensation in this manner, the company was able to pay the employers less for overtime than what the law clearly stated it should.
Additionally, Camin Cargo Control took advantage of the fluctuating workweek method of payment, which requires employers to pay employees a fixed rate of pay for all hours worked. Because the compensation was disguised as an expense that varied based on the amount of time worked, the company did not pay its dispatchers and inspectors a fixed rate of pay required to use the fluctuating work week. It was argued that this was a clear violation of the FLSA mandate that states that non-exempt employees must be compensated at one-and-a-half times their regular rate for each hour worked over 40 every week.
Judge Rules in Favor of Plaintiff and Kennedy Hodges, LLP
Kennedy Hodges, LLP, fought hard to show that Camin Cargo Control was in violation of the law when it didn’t pay its employees the compensation they deserved. The judge who was assigned to the case ruled that the violation was clear, and that a jury wasn’t needed in order to make a decision. The judge ruled that the inspectors were owed additional wages because they weren’t paid overtime on mileage and offshore pay, and automobile and meal reimbursement. Additionally, the court also determined that inspector coordinators were entitled to overtime pay and were not exempt, and that the inspectors and inspector coordinators were also entitled to liquidated damages.
After a settlement was agreed on by both the plaintiff and defendant, settlement checks were then mailed to both the inspectors and inspector coordinators. Although Camin Cargo Control is based in New Jersey, the claim alleges that the violation took place in locations throughout the United States, including Louisiana, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas.
Are You Affected by the Camin Cargo Control Settlement?
Kennedy Hodges, LLP, wants to help anyone who is in a similar situation to those who are affected by Camin Cargo Control. The federal statute of limitations in this case allows you to recover pay for overtime hours worked within two years of joining the lawsuit. This time limit may be extended to three years in certain situations.
Retaliating against employees who have filed claims against Camin Cargo Control is illegal. Retaliation can include termination, changing your position or hours, reducing your pay, or any other action taken against you. If you believe that your employer has taken negative actions against you for filing a claim, Kennedy Hodges, LLP, wants to help. Our firms and the court take claims of retaliation seriously and want to protect your rights.
Schedule your FREE consultation with an experienced legal professional by calling 855-947-0707 and find out what we can do to help you with your case. You may be eligible to receive overtime pay that your employer has unlawfully failed to provide.