Court Orders Entergy To Pay $305,000 In Overtime Claim

Court Orders Entergy To Pay $305,000 In Overtime Claim

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Four security guards for Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will share in the $305,000 the court ordered the company to pay after a jury found the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The security guards alleged in their lawsuit that Entergy failed to pay them the overtime pay they had earned due to a misclassification of their position. As a result of the jury verdict, two separate lawsuits were filed against Entergy in Michigan and Massachusetts. Despite the three lawsuits, and the jury verdict, Entergy has not changed its policies and practices. And the company could still appeal the recent decision.

Vermont Yankee Claim

The lawsuit was filed in June 2012. The four security guards were seeking unpaid back wages dating back to 2009 along with liquidated damages for the alleged violation. As with the other two lawsuits against Entergy, the security guards in the Vermont Yankee lawsuit claim the overtime problems began when Entergy brought security matters in-house. Prior to the change, the security guards were employed by Wackenhut Corp. and were classified as non-exempt from overtime under the FLSA. Because they were classified as non-exempt they would receive one and a half times their regular rate of pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. When Entergy brought security in-house, the security guards were reclassified as exempt and paid a fixed salary. According to the four security guards’ claim, since 2009 they had worked more than 5,000 hours of overtime without compensation.

According to the arguments made during the four-day trial, the company claimed the security guards, who were shift supervisors, were exempt from overtime under either or both of the FLSA’s executive and administrative exemptions. However, the security guards, even as shift supervisors, claimed they were near the bottom of the security command structure and did not meet the exemption requirements. Not only did the jury find that the exemptions did not apply to the security guards, the judge found that the company did not perform the requisite review of the guards’ positions before it reclassified them as exempt.

Retaliation

Entergy has 11 facilities where its current and questionable security pay practices are in place. As illustrated by the Michigan and Massachusetts claims, it is possible that security guards at the other facilities have also been subject to overtime violations. Often employees fail to bring a claim against their employer for fear of retaliation or termination. However, the FLSA prohibits retaliation, including termination, based on claims or complaints of wage or labor violations.

If you are a security guard at an Entergy nuclear facility, or you have been denied overtime pay, or you have been terminated for raising concern over wage violations, contact our overtime pay lawyers today. Our top-rated team of overtime pay lawyers can be reached at (855) 754-2795. Or complete our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form and our knowledgeable legal team will evaluate your claim. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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