Two former Denso Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. employees claim in a proposed class action that the automotive supplier failed to pay them proper overtime wages and violated their rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
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According to the 22-page case, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that non-exempt employees are entitled to one-and-a-half times their regular rates of pay for each hour worked beyond 40 in a single workweek. The plaintiffs say that although Denso provided them with various “routine and non-discretionary” bonuses—such as an additional $1 per hour when they worked the second shift—the company failed to include these shift premiums into their regular pay rates when calculating overtime rates.
“Under FLSA, the regular rate of pay must consist of all forms of remuneration,” the filing says, noting that this includes non-discretionary bonuses and extra shift premiums.
As such, the complaint contends that Denso owes the plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees all unpaid overtime wages, to be calculated “by taking the difference between the overtime they should have received for each workweek and the overtime they did receive during the same time period calculated using the incorrect regular rate.”
The case goes on to allege that Denso terminated, disciplined and discriminated against employees who requested or took medical leave under the FMLA, even though it is unlawful under the federal law for an employer to “interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise,” employees’ protected rights provided under the FMLA.
One plaintiff, a Michigan resident whom the company approved to take various FMLA leaves throughout 2022 and 2023 due to serious health conditions, claims to have provided his direct supervisor with adequate notice in mid-March 2023 that he required additional leave as his condition had worsened.
The complaint says that the plaintiff remained in regular contact with his supervisors and made efforts to obtain the necessary FMLA paperwork from Denso to give to his doctor to complete, which he finally received on April 4. The next day, the man’s doctor filled out the forms and indicated that he would remain on medical leave from March 29 through April 10, 2023, the filing shares.
Nevertheless, the plaintiff received an AWOL letter from the company on April 8, which stated that he had until 4:30 pm of that day to submit his medical paperwork, the case says. After submitting the forms on April 10 and initiating a follow-up about their status that went unanswered by Denso’s HR department, the plaintiff was terminated on April 17, the lawsuit states.
Per the complaint, Denso has “wrongfully harassed” employees over their absences while on FMLA leave and discouraged them from using their federally protected medical leave in the future. The filing also points to instances where the company “needlessly” required employees to re-certify their FMLA leave.
“As a direct and proximate result of [the defendant’s] adverse actions, Plaintiffs suffered damages including, but not limited to, loss of past and future income and loss of employee benefits,” the case says.
The lawsuit seeks to cover anyone who was employed as an hourly worker for Denso Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. at any time in the past three years.
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