A former employee has filed suit against Palmetto Residential Electric LLC and an individual with control of the business over claims that he wasn’t paid proper overtime wages. The plaintiff says he worked for the defendants as an electrician responsible for installing security systems, alarm monitoring, and home surge protection in new homes. Per his contract with the company, he was to be paid an hourly wage, the suit says. According to the plaintiff, however, he was not compensated for the time he spent driving from job sites back to the defendants’ place of business at the end of each day.
Further, the man claims 30-minute meal breaks were automatically deducted from his wages even when he worked through his breaks. As a result, the case alleges, the plaintiff wasn’t paid for all hours worked, including the approximately four to five hours exceeding 40 each week for which he should have been compensated at a premium overtime rate.
The complaint later argues that the defendants would change the plaintiff’s pay method from hourly to piece-rate without notice. For example, when the man worked a piece-rate job—for which he would be paid a fixed rate regardless of the amount of time he spent on the job—and completed the task in a short amount of time, the defendants would change his wages to hourly, effectively paying him less than he would have otherwise earned, the case alleges.
On November 30, 2017, the complaint continues, the plaintiff complained to the defendants’ human resources department regarding the company’s allegedly illegal pay practices and was terminated less than a week later when the defendants sent other employees to the man’s home to pick up the company van. The plaintiff argues that his termination was in direct retaliation for a protected act – namely, his complaints regarding overtime pay.