Construction companies accused of not paying employees

Michelle Massey Jul. 23, 2010, 8:32am

NEW ORLEANS-Two Louisiana construction companies are accused of not paying their employees.

Employees Nelson J. Amador, Juan Angel Aguilar, Miguel Cartagena and Carlos Hernandez Quiroz filed suit against DDS Construction, Harris Builders, Shondrell Campbell and Derek Campbell on July 19 in federal court in New Orleans.

The employees worked for the defendants on a construction project known as the Louisiana Katrina Cottages Fisher Housing Development Site in New Orleans.

Plaintiff Miguel Cartagena supervised a crew of workers and claims he is owed more than $10,300. The other three employees were hired to install sheetrock and claim they are each owed more than $1,785.

According to court records, they have made formal demand for their wages but have not received payment for the work. Supervisor Cartagena claims they have each received several checks but all were dishonored by the bank.

The defendants are accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Louisiana Wage Payment Statute along with breach of contract for failure to pay plaintiffs agreed upon daily rates of pay for days worked and breach of receipt and release contract.

The plaintiffs are asking the court for an award of declaratory relief, injunctive relief, wages, penalty wages, liquidated damages, plus attorney fees, costs and interest.

The workers are represented by Michelle C. Purchner of Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis & Eagan in New Orleans and Vanessa Spinazola of The Pro Bono Project in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02014

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