Janitor sues to obtain unpaid overtime wages

By Alejandro de los Rios | Jun 10, 2011


A janitor who is unable to speak English has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, claiming they took advantage of him by not paying him for the hours he worked in excess of 40 hours per work week.

Claiming violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Willian Pena filed suit against Ramelli Janitorial Service Inc. on June 6 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the complaint, Pena was hired as a janitor in 2002 and worked at the Union Passenger Terminal. Pena states that during his employment he worked in excess of 40 hours within a work week because his schedule consisted of at least 12 hour days, seven days per week. He was paid in cash for straight time worked at an hourly rate of $10 per hour.

Every other week, Pena would receive a receipt for his time with a note stating that he was required to pay back a check cashing fee in the amount of $36.

The defendant is accused of preying on Pena's inability to speak English, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and violating Louisiana State Law.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of overtime compensation, liquidated damages, damages for fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, attorney's fees, costs and expenses and interest.

Pena is represented by New Orleans attorney Jody Forester Jackson.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01341

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