Overtime Lawsuits: On a Heavy Toll

There has been a drastic rise in the Overtime Lawsuits in the State of Texas. Most of the employers have stopped giving overtime wages which are considered appropriate under the FLSA. Employees have filed a heavy amount of suits in 2014 with regard to the “Overtime Compensation”. In calculating overtime under the FLSA, an employee is entitled to one and one-half times the regular pay rate for each hour worked over 40 hours per week as per 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1).

In accordance with Section 216(b) of the FLSA, an employer in violation of Section 207 for unpaid overtime compensation is liable to the employee for that compensation and for an additional equal amount as liquidated damages.

In the recent case of Pete Villarreal, Joey Villarreal, Arnulfo Alejo, Jose Luis Gomez, Angel R. Bundali, Marvin Aplicano, and Bobby Larios, v. Samaripa Oilfield Servs., LLC and Amy Samaripa, Civil Action 4:13-CV-02662, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178490[1], plaintiffs allege that each worked for various periods of time from 2011-2013, paid on an hourly basis as manual laborers and drivers for Samaripa. Plaintiffs also allege that they were entitled to overtime pay and received none.

The FLSA requires employers to pay covered employees extra compensation of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week. 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit interprets Section 207(a)(1) to require a plaintiff employee to show the following: “(1) that there existed an employer-employee relationship during the unpaid overtime periods claimed; (2) that the employee engaged in activities within the coverage of the FLSA; (3) that the employer violated the FLSA’s overtime wage requirements; and (4) the amount of overtime compensation due.” (Johnson v. Heckmann Water Resources (CVR), Inc., 758 F.3d 627,630 (5th Cir. 2014).

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division while affirming the summary judgment held that the Plaintiffs have satisfied each of the elements to establish a prima facie FLSA overtime case and have shown they are entitled to recovery. At this stage, the court would consider Samaripa’s challenge to determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists. (Heckmann Water, 758 F.3d at 630). Because Samaripa has not filed any summary judgment materials, the record does not reflect any genuine issue of material fact, and plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment.



[1] Case of Pete Villarreal, Joey Villarreal, Arnulfo Alejo, Jose Luis Gomez, angel r. Bundali, Marvin Aplicano, and Bobby Larios, v. Samaripa Oilfield Servs., LLC http://www.lexis.com/research/retrieve?_m=fdbe41750442e239ad6fe95cb5c74713&docnum=1&_fmtstr=FULL&_startdoc=1&wchp=dGLzVzt-zSkAl&_md5=89dff03d00d73b8e03876bfe32be7b6b



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