Failure to pay overtime prompts class action
Ronald Nash, of Edwardsville, filed a class action complaint against Beelman River Terminals of Venice on Dec. 9 alleging the Beelman failed to pay overtime to hourly employees.Beelman failed to pay employees time and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours per week as required by the Illinois Minimum Wage Law;
Nash’s suit is the 70th class action suit filed in Madison County Circuit Court in 2004.
Represented by Elizabeth Heller of Edwardsville, Nash filed the action on behalf of employees who worked for Beelman for more than 40 hours in any one week from November 2001 through Nov 17, 2004.
Nash claims that Beelman employed more than 100 hourly employees during the time period covered in the class definition, many of whom are Madison county residents.
Nash claims that common questions of law and fact predominate over questions only affecting individual members of the class, such as whether;
Beelman’s failure to pay time-and-a-half for overtime labor was in violation of minimum wage laws;
Members of the class suffered an ascertainable loss by reason of Beelman’s failure to pay overtime as required;
In justifying a class action, the complaint states, "...the actual damages suffered by each class member may be relatively small, compared to the burden and expense of individual prosecution of this complex and extensive litigation, absent a class action.”
Nash is seeking an award of compensatory damages, restitution and all other monetary relief authorized by law or reference, together with punitive damages and interest, and a court order requiring Beelman to comply with Illinois minimum wage laws and pay its employees accordingly.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran Jr.
The day after the suit was filed, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division announced that seven employees of Beelman River Terminals, Inc. will receive back wages plus interest totaling $17,554 as part of a recent overtime pay settlement.
Ella M. Johnson, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in St. Louis, said the Labor Department's complaint filed in March alleged that from Jan. 15, 2000 to April 15, 2002, scale operators working more than 40 hours per week were paid straight time without a half-time premium as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In addition to the back wage settlement reached March 31, Beelman River Terminals paid $3,715 in civil penalties for having repeatedly violated the FLSA.
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