Suit alleges Mt. Pleasant hotel failed to pay overtime

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 23, 2008, 5:12am

Executive Inn and Suites, Mt. Pleasant

TEXARKANA, Texas – Hired to work as a night auditor at Mt. Pleasant's Executive Inn and Suites, Brian Whitfield began making $7 an hour while working 55 to 75 hours a week.

Whitfield alleges that he did not receive over time compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Act.

Representing himself, Whitfield filed suit against the owners of the Executive Inn and Suites, Prashant Patel, Rose Patel and the office manager Derity Coffman on Oct. 17 in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

For the first several weeks, Whitfield states he received cash instead of a payroll check. Concerned about payroll taxes, Whitfield questioned the office manager about the common practice. The office manager told Whitfield she would do the appropriate paperwork.

According to Whitfield, every week he was compensated for 40 hours but his payroll check did not include any overtime compensation.

Whitfield discussed the issue with the owners and office manager and he claims he was told they would "make up" the pay.

Four months later, Whitfield was offered the position as hotel manager and offered $7.50 an hour. He accepted the job but believed Patel would compensate him for his overtime.

According to the complaint, Patel placed Whitfield in a situation involving criminal activity. When Whitfield left the situation and reported it to the police, he was terminated from his position.

The suit seeks reimbursement for Whitfield's six months of overtime pay and court costs.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom will preside over the litigation.

Case No 5:08cv00181

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