Sanctions hearing slated in electrician's prevailing wage suit

David Yates Oct. 13, 2011, 10:29am

A sanctions hearing has been set in a suit filed by Kyle Betts � an electrician who claims he deserved to earn more for his work at the Beaumont Independent School District.

As previously reported, Betts filed a lawsuit Nov. 5, 2010, in Jefferson County district Court against JJ&R Electric, claiming the company failed to pay him the prevailing wage rate while he worked for the district.

On Sept. 26 a notice of oral hearing on Betts' motion to compel and motion for sanctions was filed in the case, setting the hearing for Nov. 4, court papers say.

Betts filed his motion on April 21, asserting that JJ&R Electric's corporate representative failed to appear for a deposition.

According to the lawsuit, Betts $18-per-hour wage for has work at the district was below the prevailing wage.

"In addition to failing to pay the prevailing wage, Defendant falsely represented to Plaintiff and to investigating and contributing authorities that Plaintiff was an 'apprentice' and as such, eligible for a lower prevailing wage," the suit states. "In point of fact, Plaintiff was 'walking foreman' who, at times exercised supervisory control over 5-6 other electrician."

Scheming to inappropriately pay Betts, JJ&R ordered him and other electricians in January to sign up for apprenticeship classes and to sign up for a first-year apprentice class. If Betts signed up for the classes, JJ&R could pay him a lower wage rate than required by law despite the fact that Betts had worked as an electrician for years, the suit states.

Betts seeks actual, special and incidental damages, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

John Werner of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont represents him.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E188-745

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