A proposed collective action has been filed against the City of Richmond, Virginia over claims that it owes social workers unpaid overtime wages for off-the-clock work. The plaintiff in the case says he worked as a Family Service Worker for the Richmond Department of Social Services, an agency run by the defendant, between November 2015 and September 2016. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff and other family service workers were misclassified as exempt from receiving overtime wages until June 2015, when they were reportedly re-classified as non-exempt employees. Even after they were re-classified, however, the defendant still failed to provide the workers with proper time-and-a-half wages for the hours they worked over 40, the case says.
The suit argues that employees’ overtime hours stemmed from the workers’ extensive caseloads that required them to perform off-the-clock work during their breaks, after their shifts ended, and on weekends. The plaintiff claims his manager discouraged him from submitting overtime hours for this extra work because “she did not like to complete the paperwork that was required when an employee worked overtime.”
According to the lawsuit, the defendant has been sued multiple times for similar unpaid wage claims but has continued its allegedly illegal pay practices:
“Despite being sued twice in rapid succession, and despite paying millions of dollars in settlement and attorney’s fees, Defendant has continued its unlawful employment practices and required or permitted the Off the Clock Class to work uncompensated overtime hours.”