Accountant claims termination due to complaints to Labor Department

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 20, 2012, 10:00am

SHERMAN - An accountant claims she was fired for reporting labor violations to the Department of Labor and has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for retaliating against her and for violating federal labor regulations.

Debra Groman filed suit against CKW Commercial and Carla Whitehead on Jan. 7 in Collin County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Feb. 7.

Groman began working for the defendants in April 2011 as an accountant. She states that the learned the defendants were not paying several employees overtime wages at the rate of one and a half times the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the suit, Groman told the defendants that were required to pay overtime wages but they refused.

Groman claims she complained to the Department of Labor about the violations.

The defendants learned about Groman's complaint and she was terminated on Sept. 1, 2011, in retaliation, the suit alleges.

The defendants are accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by retaliating against Groman.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages, plus court costs, interest, treble damages, liquidated damages and attorney's fees.

Groman is represented by Julie E. Johnson and Lindsey A. Watson of the Law Office of Julie Johnson in Dallas.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00092

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