Dan Harkins Jul. 23, 2015, 1:09pm


BEAUMONT -- Construction laborers are leading a class action lawsuit against their former employers for allegedly failing to pay them for regularly required overtime. 

Aquilino Banegas, Juan Zelaya and others filed a class-action complaint on July 21 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, against Aladdin Construction Co. Inc., RIMAX Contractors Inc., Jet Drywall Inc., Ricardo Arbelaez and Hernestina Deza.

Banegas, Zelaya and the other plaintiffs worked for the defendants from April to November 2014 as laborers at a construction site in Lake Charles, La. During that time hanging sheetrock and drywall, framing and performing other tasks, they regularly worked more than 40 hours a week -- often about 60 hours a week, the lawsuit states.

But the plaintiffs were never paid for overtime, the lawsuit states, which is a requirement of the Fair Labor Standands Act -- a "blatant disregard for plaintiffs' federally protected rights."

The plaintiff seeks for the court to classify this as an official class action, to require the defendants to start complying with federal law and to award the plaintiffs unspecified back overtime pay, liquidated damages, plus interest, court costs and attorneys' fees.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Josef F. Buenker in Houston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, case number 4:15-cv-02096.

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