Food service employees sue New Orleans convention center

Michelle Massey Sep. 8, 2010, 6:41am

Food service employees for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans have filed a collective lawsuit alleging they were not paid proper wages or overtime compensation.

Individually and on behalf of similarly situated employees, John Pace, David Fuselier, and Robert Travis filed suit against Maximum Staffing, Thu Le and Aramark Corp. d/b/a Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services on Aug. 26 in federal court in New Orleans.

The men who worked as food service laborers are accusing the defendants of violating their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The defendants are accused of violating mandated minimum hourly wage during numerous pay periods. Specifically, the employees state the defendant failed to keep accurate records of time "on the clock," defendants mandated a period of unpaid 30 minutes for every six hours regardless of whether or not the employees were performing their job duties and defendants failed to compensate the employees for their time following their arrival.

The lawsuit also states the defendants profited by requiring the plaintiffs to use defendants' transportation on a daily basis and in turn, deducted $2.50 from their pay, for each one-way trip, that the defendants profited by charging a $1.99 fee for cashing some employees' paychecks and other unexplained, illegal deductions from the paychecks.

The plaintiffs are asking the court for an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in future wage violations, an award of lost overtime wages, payment of minimum wages for every hour worked by each plaintiff, a return of all "shortages" improperly taxed by defendants, liquidated damages, monetary penalties, litigation costs, expenses, attorney's fees and interest.

The employees are represented by Jody Forester Jackson of New Orleans and Stephen Skelly Kreller of The Kreller Law Firm in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02832

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