Laborer claims unpaid wages in suit

Michelle Massey Sep. 8, 2010, 9:30am

A laborer at a rock-crushing yard has filed a lawsuit claiming he was not paid all the wages he earned during his 19-day employment.

Angel Cruz filed suit against Central Rock Corp., Southwinds Express Construction and Michael Flaherty on Aug. 24 in federal court in New Orleans.

Cruz worked for the defendants on an excavation and demolition project at a rock-crushing yard. He was hired on April 10 as an employee of Southwinds to provide labor, operate machinery, crush rocks, and prepare gravel at the rock-crushing yard.

He claims he worked for the defendants for a continuous 19-day period, 12 hours per day for the first 18 days and 9 hours on the last day. He claims the defendants told him that he would receive $175 per day for days in which he worked 8 to 9 hours and $200 per day for days in which he worked 10 hours or more.

According to the lawsuit, Cruz was paid only $1750 for the 10 days of work. He argues the defendants should have paid him $4575.40 total in wages and overtime wages, leaving a paid due balance of $2,825.40 in wages. Cruz claims he requested payment but states he was threatened.

The defendants are accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, and breach of contract for failure to pay wages.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of past due wages, penalty wages, costs and attorneys fees.

Cruz is represented by Vanessa Spinazola of The Pro Bono Project in New Orleans.

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

Case No. 2:10cv02816

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