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Article Highlights Baron and Budd Victory in Fair Labor Standards Act Case
DALLAS (January 7, 2014) – Baron and Budd lawyer Allen Vaught was featured in a December 22, 2014 article in the Dallas Morning News regarding overtime compensation lawsuits, the national law firm reports. The article highlighted a recent victory for Vaught and his team in which a federal jury found that approximately 100 truck drivers and several dispatchers were not paid for all overtime hours worked.
Vaught, who has more than 15 years of experience as a litigator, manages Baron and Budd’s Employment Law Section. His main focus is on class action cases regarding unpaid overtime wages. Vaught recently helped secure a $3 million settlement on behalf of a group of sales representatives who filed suit claiming they were not paid overtime by a marketing firm based in Dallas.
The truck drivers and dispatchers who Vaught represented filed a lawsuit against Native Oilfield Services, claiming the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The drivers delivered sand to fracking sites in several Texas oilfields, including the Barnett Shale and Eagle Ford. They were required to arrive at their jobsites early each day and wait for trucks if they were not available. However, they were not paid until a truck was issued to them. In August 2014, a jury determined each driver was entitled to 18 hours of overtime pay each week for the time they had to wait and that the drivers were not exempt from the FLSA’s overtime wage provisions.
According to the continuous workday rule, which is a part of the FLSA, all time from the workday’s first and principal activity is considered paid work time. This includes any time taking short rest breaks or time spent waiting.
With regards to the dispatchers, the jury found that the employer had misclassified them as FLSA exempt and awarded them a varying amount of unpaid overtime hours.
Unfortunately, there are several companies that violate this and other portions of the Act. There are many reasons these violations occur. These may include substantial growth in the number of small- and medium-sized businesses – many of which are unfamiliar with wage-and-hour laws. According to the article, more employees are becoming aware of the FLSA thanks to the increase in social media. This is becoming particularly prevalent among workers in the hospitality and restaurant sectors.
“Filing this type of lawsuit provides employees the chance to make sure their rights are protected, and that they earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” Vaught said. “It also sends a message to companies that their employees’ time is valuable, and should never be taken for granted. We are very encouraged that more and more employees are becoming aware of their rights.”
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a 35-year history of "Protecting What’s Right" for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals, governmental and business entities in areas as diverse as water contamination, Gulf oil spill, Qui Tam, California Proposition 65 violations, dangerous medications and medical devices, Chinese drywall, insurance claims, consumer fraud, securities fraud and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.