BURLINGTON, Vt. — In May 2016, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Entergy Vermont Yankee in a lawsuit filed by four employees who claimed that over 5,500 hours of overtime pay has been withheld from them during their employment with the company, according to WCAX – Vermont.
The lawsuit was initially filed against Entergy by former employees David Banford, Scott McGratty, Robert Miller and Gary Stratton in 2012. After four years of litigation, the court decided against Entergy as they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by neglecting to appropriately compensate their employees with overtime benefits.
The four plaintiffs were originally contracted by an outside firm hired by Entergy but became Vermont Yankee employees after the nuclear power plant began handing security services in-house.
While working for security contracting firm Wackenhut Corporation, the plaintiffs were paid adequate overtime benefits with the FLSA violations beginning when the in-house switch occurred.
Court officials claim that the four guards could receive compensation for up to $535,000 in previously withheld overtime wages.
Major Vermont Labor Regulation Information
As applies to most state labor laws, the regulations defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) constitute a majority of the labor regulations that apply to Vermont workers. However, there are specific Vermont state laws that all employees should be aware of, especially minimum wage standards.
State minimum wage standards are very unique to Vermont as they have enacted an hourly wage higher than most other states. The current state minimum wage for all non-exempt workers is a rate of $9.60 per hour.
While state workers are subjected to the state minimum wage, they are subjected to federal overtime pay regulations. These stipulations, which are detailed in the FLSA, state that all non-exempt employees must receive an hourly wage rate of 150% their standard rate for all hours worked above 40 per 7-day work week.
Because of an employers ability to manipulate time records, it is difficult for labor agencies to detect when employers violate overtime rights. This means employees should be well versed in their overtime pay rights so they can report any violations to the relevant state or federal agencies to attempt to halt their employers practices and receive any withheld wages.
Some common deceptive employer tactics include failing to keep accurate time records, spreading hours worked across multiple weeks, and failing to compensate for “off-the-clock” required duties among other tactics.
If a past or current employer exhibits signs that they may be actively pursing deceptive tactics to avoid paying their employees adequate overtime wage rates, you may be eligible to pursue legal action against them. Call (855) 754-2795 to determine if you can file a lawsuit against an employer to receive compensation for previously withheld wages.