A group of workers filed a class action lawsuit against their Houston-based employer for bad faith and labor law violations between 2012 and 2015, when the firm allegedly avoided paying them overtime wages.

Jose de Jesus Oviedo Hernandez, Donaciano Nieto, Lorenzo Vega, Javier Santillan, Hose Leonel, Hernandez Henriquez et al filed a complaint against Robert Dering Construction LLC in Galveston federal court June 13, claiming violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the suit, the plaintiffs performed manual construction labor for the defendant as full-time non-exempt employees for the defendant’s firm, which handles architecture, design and construction of medical office buildings and upscale homes.

The complaint states that all workers were paid hourly rather than a salary, and regularly worked in excess of 40 hours weekly without receiving overtime compensation. The plaintiffs allege that they were willfully misclassified as independent contractors by Dering in order to reduce payroll expenses.

The plaintiffs seeks injunctive relief, restitution for unpaid wages including benefits and bonuses, overtime compensation, liquidated damages, penalties, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s and expert witness fees, expenses, and costs. The plaintiffs are represented by Rhonda Wills and Genevieve Estrada of the Wills Law Firm in Houston.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 3:15-cv-00176

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