Scaffold worker says she was not paid for early start time

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 22, 2010, 3:42am

GALVESTON - Dawn M. Jackson has filed suit against her employer Jacobs Field Services North America Inc. over unpaid regular and overtime wages.

The original complaint claims that Jacobs required the plaintiff and her coworkers, who worked in the scaffolding department at the BP plant in Texas City, to report for duty at least 10 minutes prior to their actual start time of 7 a.m., but did not compensate the employees for the extra time.

Court papers were filed Sept. 3 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Jackson explains that the defendant threatened her and the scaffolders with termination if they failed to report as required.

BP is not a defendant in the case.

The suit alleges Jacobs "knew of, approved of, and benefited from the plaintiff's regular and overtime work" and insists Jackson and the others were not exempt from protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

"The defendant did not make a good faith effort to comply with the overtime provisions contained within the FLSA," it says.

"The defendant's actions were willful and in blatant disregard for the plaintiffs' federally protected rights."

Jackson, who also filed the suit as a collective action complaint on behalf of her coworkers, demands a jury trial.

Attorney Josef F. Buenker of Houston is representing the plaintiff, and U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt is presiding over the case.

Case No. 3:10-cv-00338

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