NEW ORLEANS – A group of former landscape workers are suing their former employers, claiming wage fraud.

Juan Molina, Mauricio Hernandez, Constantino Avila, Gabriel Gutierrez and Wilson Hernandez filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against H&O Investments LLC; H&O Equipment LLC, doing business as H&O Lawn 360; David Mahler Jr.; Karen Stirling; Randall Gomez; Rick Summers; and Roy H. Maughan Jr., alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the defendants misclassified the landscapers as independent contractors, when they are actually employees, to avoid paying for overtime and travel time between jobs. The suit claims the plaintiffs were instead paid a flat daily rate with certain deductions, in violation of federal wage laws.

The plaintiffs seek a jury trial, punitive and compensatory damages, interest and legal fees. They are represented by Marco Balducci of Pelton + Balducci in New Orleans and by Brent E. Pelton and Taylor B. Graham of Pelton & Associates PC in New York City.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-00377

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