A proposed collective action lawsuit claims Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee, LP failed to compensate hourly employees for off-the-clock work.
According to the complaint, workers at Hankook’s Clarksville, Tennessee facility were required to don protective safety gear such as goggles, hard hats, and arc flash shirts and pants prior to the start of their shifts, as well as doff the equipment after their shifts ended. The case contends that although donning and doffing was an “integral and indispensable” part of employees’ job requirements and duties, time spent doing so was neither recorded as part of employees’ hours worked nor compensated as such by the defendant.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims employees were forced to remain in their work areas after the end of their shifts in order to participate in a “pass down” with workers from the next shift. The case contends, however, that the defendant failed to record pass down time and did not compensate workers for these hours. The complaint argues that because Hankook already required employees to work at least 40 hours per week – separate and apart from their off-the-clock labor – workers should be given time-and-a-half wages considering their don/doff and pass down time.
Hankook allegedly knew employees’ off-the-clock work required additional pay, yet willfully failed to provide this compensation as part of what the suit calls “a scheme to save payroll costs and payroll taxes.” The case contends the “scheme” violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s requirement that employers must compensate non-exempt workers at a time-and-a-half overtime rate for all hours worked over 40 in a week.
The lawsuit requests compensation in the form of unpaid back wages for all former and current hourly paid employees at the defendant’s Clarksville, Tennessee facility who were required to work off the clock during the three years prior to the complaint’s filingand who will opt in to the collective action.