MILWAUKEE — A federal judge recently approved a settlement between parties in an unpaid overtime lawsuit to resolve allegations over wage theft allegedly committed by an Appleton, Wisconsin manufacturing company since the 1990s. The $5.5 million settlement will compensate an estimated 1,426 production employees at Pierce Manufacturing which specializes in building heavy commercial trucks and custom emergency response vehicles like firetrucks, rescue vehicles, aerial, and pumper trucks.
The overtime pay lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin as Eric Ehmann v. Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., claimed the defendant violated both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wisconsin’s Wage Payment and Collection Laws by making illegal changes to timesheets. The plaintiffs claimed Pierce Manufacturing deducted 10 minutes from each shift for breaks given to workers during each shift, a total of 50 minutes each week.
The plaintiffs claim they routinely worked overtime and Pierce Manufacturing should have calculated the additional 50 minutes deducted each week as overtime wages. Under Wisconsin’s Wage Payment and Collection laws, employers must pay employees for any breaks less than 30 minutes and the FLSA requires companies to pay workers one and a half times the employee’s average hourly wage.
While the defendant does not admit any liability for the alleged wage theft, the federal judge in Green Bay hearing the case described Pierce Manufacturing’s actions as violations of the FLSA and the plaintiffs’ complaint was “fair and reasonable.” The judge did commend the two-sides for reaching a fair and timely settlement to resolve the issues and Pierce Manufacturing issued its own statement echoing the sentiment.
Many employers caught engaging in wage theft often attempt to skirt liability by either denying claims outright or claiming ignorance to the web of state and federal wage and labor laws business need to navigate to remain in compliance. Although running a business is indeed a complicated endeavor, the law is clear as it pertains to the employer’s responsibility to paid all due wages in a timely manner, pay overtime for eligible employees, and provide accurate wage statements that include all wages and hours worked in the pay period.
Manufacturing Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.