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Entergy Faces Security Worker Overtime Claim

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Security workers have filed an overtime pay lawsuit against a Michigan nuclear power plant and its New Orleans based parent company, Entergy Nuclear Operations.

Over a dozen security workers claim the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant failed to pay them overtime wages when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The security workers are requesting a jury trial and seeking back wages for unpaid overtime and attorneys’ fees.

The Nuclear Claim

At present, 18 current and former security personnel are represented in the lawsuit, which was filed in Michigan federal court near the end of December 2014. The Palisades’ lawsuit followed a jury verdict against Entergy in Vermont court that awarded security specialists at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant over 5,000 hours of overtime pay.

The security personnel at Palisades were originally employed by an outside security firm. The security personnel were classified as non-exempt from overtime when they were employed by the outside firm. As non-exempt employees, the security personnel received overtime wages for all of the time they worked in excess of their 40-hour workweek. In 2007, however, Entergy cancelled the contract with the outside firm and began employing the security personnel directly. When Entergy began providing the security services, it reclassified the security personnel as exempt. Properly classified exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per workweek.

Employee Rights and Claims

This lawsuit is yet another claim brought against the Palisades plant in an ongoing conflict between Palisades and its security personnel. Last year, there were complaints of retaliation from former security personnel who claimed their termination came only after they had raised issues with working conditions; in that case, the issues related to potential safety concerns.

The retaliation claims were investigated, but were not proven. However, despite the investigation’s findings, Palisades held meetings for its security personnel regarding safety, methods for raising issues, and employee rights. Some employee rights include the right to a safe work environment, the right to compensation for all hours worked, and the right to take action to address problems and concerns if their rights are not respected. Raising concerns and filing good faith complaints about wage or safety violations are protected actions. Because these are protected actions and employee rights, employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who exercise their rights.

If you believe your rights to proper wages, including overtime wages, are being violated, call our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today.  Our knowledgeable legal team can be reached at (855) 754-2795 or by completing our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form. 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. There are strict time limitations for filing so it is important that you call our experienced law firm today!

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