DirecTV installers, techs sue company for unpaid overtime

Michelle Massey Apr. 9, 2010, 4:40am

Former and current workers who install and service DirecTV satellite equipment allege they were not always paid minimum wage or overtime.

The workers claim the satellite company's actions were a nationwide scheme and violate Louisiana law and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Christian Lang, Dwayne Humphrey, Larry Tucker and Gary Smith, on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals, filed a class action against DirecTV, Inc., J, P & D Digital Satellite Systems, Inc. and Modern Day Satellite on Feb. 22 in the 22nd Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Tammany. Defendants removed the case to the New Orleans federal court on April 9.

The plaintiffs claim they were paid a set amount based on the number and type of job assignment completed or paid an agreed upon hourly rate. However, they claim they regularly worked more than 40 hours in a workweek in order to complete those job assignments but without overtime wages.

In the lawsuit, plaintiffs allege that they either received no compensation or were paid below the minimum wage through the guise of an alleged pay-per-job/unilateral charge-back scheme.

The alleged scheme involved charging the plaintiffs back more money than they earned for the job assignment, charging the employees for occurrences unrelated to the quality of the work originally performed, withholding pay, taking unilateral deductions, not paying employees on a bi-monthly basis, and failing to pay employees in a timely fashion upon discharge or resignation.

The proposed class is asking the federal court to award damages in the amount of their unpaid wages, and an additional amount of liquidated damages, interest, attorneys' fees and court costs.

Slidell attorney Jesse B. Hearin, III is representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 2:10cv01085

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