Software workers claim no exemption from overtime, file class action against employers

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 6, 2008, 5:16am

MARSHALL – Workers at two software companies have filed a class action suit against their employers, alleging the companies violated federal law by failing to pay them overtime.

Patty Beall, Matthew Maxwell, Talina McElhany and Kelly Hampton, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit against Tyler Technologies Inc. and EDP Enterprises Inc. on Oct. 31 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

EDP Enterprises and Tyler Technologies create, install and provide customer training and support for specialized software programs for use by public entities including schools, appraisal districts, courts, pension plans and public safety entities.

The proposed class of employees includes customer service representatives, customer liaisons, engineers, trainers and education service specialists employed as exempt salaried employees by the defendants in the last three years.

Asserting they are not exempt under the computer professional exemption, the plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not providing additional compensation for any hours they worked over 40 hours per week.

The Fair Labor Standards Act provides a computer professional exemption for employees whose duties include consulting with users regarding hardware or system specifications and various duties relating to the computer programs of machine operating systems.

The job duties of the plaintiffs included helping clients with software problems, converting data into the new software, installation of hardware and software, teaching and training clients on the software applications and data entry.

Plaintiff Patty Beall alleges that she told management on numerous occasions that the company's failure to pay overtime was in violation of the law. She argues management responded by stating her job position was exempt from overtime compensation.

The lawsuit states the employees did not qualify for the exemption due to their respective job duties and further those job duties did not include any other non-exempt functions such as managerial functions.

Plaintiffs seek damages for liquidated damages equal to the sum of unpaid overtime, attorneys' fees, court costs, and pre and post-judgment interest.

Longview attorneys Laureen F. Bagley and John D. Sloan Jr. of the Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher and Perry Law Firm are representing the proposed class of plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:08cv00422

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