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Jury Likely to Decide Overtime Pay Lawsuit Brought by Dock Worker Supervisors

CHARLESTON — A federal jury in South Carolina will likely decide the outcome of a class action unpaid overtime lawsuit brought by supervisors hired to oversee dockworkers loading and unloading cargo at the Port of Charleston over allegations that the plaintiffs’ employer failed to pay overtime wages. Known as stevedores, the dock worker supervisors hired by the defendant, SSA Cooper LLC, claim that their employer improperly classified the plaintiffs as overtime exempt “executive workers” because part of their duties included supervising two or more subordinate workers at one time.

According to the overtime lawsuit, originally filed in September 2015 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, the stevedores supervise “gangs” of longshore harbor workers while loading and off-loading shipping lines. While the judge overseeing the case acknowledged the stevedores earned more than the minimum federal salary for overtime exempt workers under the FLSA and were primarily responsible for managing subordinate workers, the judge also noted the defendants failed to prove the plaintiffs performed other duties consistent with federal labor requirements.

Under federal labor laws for “executive workers,” the employee must not only be primarily responsible for supervising subordinate workers but also have the authority to hire and fire, set pay rates, and create work schedules for these lower tier workers. Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that the stevedores did not share these duties and therefore should have been eligible to earn overtime wages as other similar workers in the industry do.

In addition to the soon to be decided unpaid overtime lawsuit, a second group of stevedores also brought their own claim against SSA Cooper LLC alleging many of the same violations of the FLSA. The class action lawsuit has approximately 20 members seeking compensation for up to three years of back pay and interest, liquidated damages equal to unpaid earnings, court costs, and attorneys’ fees to cover the cost of litigation. According to reports, individual plaintiffs could be awarded up to 20 to 30 hours of overtime for each week the person spent on the job with SSA Cooper.

Dock Supervisor Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

 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.

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