Overtime Lawsuit Against The Lincoln Electric Company
Federal law requires employers to pay overtime wages for any work hours over 40 in a week even if you are paid piece rate. Employers must include breaks of 20 minutes or less in your recorded hours of work, regardless of how you use the time. An employer can legally not pay you overtime only if you are exempted from the law. To find out whether you are entitled to overtime pay, call us tollfree at 866-797-6040. The call is free and confidential.
Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm Represents Current And Former Piece Rate Workers Who Were Cheated Out Of Overtime By The Lincoln Electric Company.
Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm has filed an overtime pay lawsuit on behalf of piece rate workers against The Lincoln Electric Company for violations of Federal overtime laws. Specifically, Plaintiff Eric Roby alleges that Lincoln automatically deducted 20 minutes a day from the daily hours worked by certain piece rate workers despite legal requirements that breaks of 20 or fewer minutes be compensated. Roby also alleges that Lincoln made this deduction regardless of whether employees took a break or not and further, that Lincoln did not tell piece rate employees about policies requiring employees to report when they did not take breaks and did not enforce these policies. Plaintiff also alleges that the breaks were too short legally and under the circumstances to qualify as a legal lunch period for which an employer does not need to pay wages. Plaintiff alleges that the automatic deductions resulted in the systematic underpayment of overtime because the time Lincoln recorded was short by 20 minutes each day. Plaintiff is asking the Court to award him and the class unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages for failing to pay all overtime due. On December 28, 2018, the Court certified this case as a collective action. The case is Roby v. The Lincoln Electric Company, District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, No. 1:18cv0006.
Answers to Common Questions
How do I join the case?
To bring claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for back wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages in this action, you must affirmatively join the case by filling out a Consent to Sue form and returning it to Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm to be filed with the Court. A copy of the form is available HERE, and you may email a copy to [email protected] or fax it to 216-291-5744 after scanning it or photographing it. Piece Rate employees and Operators who want the best chance of recovering back wages should fill out the Consent to Sue form and return it to Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm to be filed with the Court. You need the free Acrobat Reader installed to view the form.
Do I have to pay to join the case?
No. Our wage and hour attorneys are handling this case on a contingent basis. We will only be paid when we win through a settlement or final judgment. Further, if we win a final judgment, Lincoln Electric will be required to pay us reasonable attorneys’ fees and cost, which may reduce or possibly even eliminate the percentage of our contingent fee that would otherwise be deducted from the judgment.
What claims are covered in this case?
The complaint covers claims for unpaid overtime wages under the FLSA. The specific violations claimed are that Lincoln Electric failed to pay all overtime due to piece rate workers who were subject to a policy of automatically deducting 20 minutes per day from piece rate employee’s daily hours because those deductions lowered the overall hours of work recorded and thus overtime hours that were recorded.
What work locations are covered by this lawsuit?
The FLSA overtime claims in this lawsuit covers piece rate employees who worked in Lincoln Electric’s Euclid, Ohio and Mentor, Ohio plants. While the case does not cover employees at other Lincoln Plants in the United States or other employers, if you believe you have been affected by a similar policy or have had your wages withheld, please give us a call at (866) 736-2046 or 866-797-6040 and we will evaluate whether we can help you bring a claim of your own.
What damages are sought?
Damages sought under the FLSA include back overtime wages, an equal amount of liquidated damages, interest for each violation, attorneys fees, and cost of the lawsuit. The FLSA provides for liquidated damages in an amount equal to the back pay owed and allows claims going back three years from when someone affirmatively joins the case by filing a Consent to Sue form, available HERE. Under the FLSA, a losing defendant is required to pay for the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the employees. You must send us a signed Consent to Sue Form to bring your federal wage and hour claims in this action. Your scanned or photographed consent form can be emailed to [email protected] or faxed to 216-291-5744
How far back can claims be made?
Under the FLSA, you are entitled to make claims for the period extending back three years from the date your Consent to Sue Form is filed in Court. Lincoln Electric may argue that its violations were not willful and that the claims should only be limited to a two-year period preceding the filing of your Consent to Sue Form. This two or three-year period is called the “statute of limitation.” Of course, we believe the violations were willful and feel strongly that we will prevail on this issue.
Can I wait to file my Consent to Sue form?
You are not part of this case and cannot receive any unpaid wages as a result of the case until your Consent to Sue Form is filed with the Court. We will file it for you but cannot do so unless you get it in to us. If you delay in sending the Consent to Sue to us, part or all of your claim may be barred by the statute of limitations. Every day you wait is another day lost on how far back we can go to get wages for you. The consent to sue form is available HERE and a scanned copy or clear photograph can be emailed to [email protected]. It can also be faxed to 216-291-5744 or mailed or dropped off at our office.
Can Lincoln Electric fire me or retaliate against me for joining the case?
Both federal and state law prohibit retaliation in any way for joining an overtime lawsuit. If any employee suffers retaliation, Lincoln Electric would be liable for any and all damages caused by the retaliation, including damages for emotional distress. Notify us immediately if you think any retaliation has occurred or is occurring. Retaliation is rare in most overtime cases because an employer can suffer such serious penalties.
Can Lincoln Electric or its attorneys contact me about this case?
Once you have returned your consent to sue form and we file it, you will be represented by Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm for the purposes of pursuing your claim for unpaid wages. As a result, neither Lincoln Electric nor its lawyers should contact you about the case. If they do, call us immediately.
Employers and their attorneys sometimes speak with current employees who have not yet filed a consent to sue. You do not need to agree to participate in any such discussion. Even though they are not permitted to do so, employers and their counsel have in some cases tried to talk employees out of joining wage-and-hour cases. In some cases, employers have cut a check to employees for a small amount that is less than what they are entitled to try to prevent them from joining. Employers have also tried to get employees to make a statement against their own interest that the employer later uses against them in the case. Again, you do not need to give Lincoln a statement regarding the allegations in this case, nor should you.
If Lincoln’s attorneys do try to contact you, here are the rules: First, Lincoln’s attorneys should advise you that you should get your own attorney before speaking with them. Second, Lincoln’s attorneys may not give you legal advice (so don’t ask them what you should do!). Third, Lincoln’s attorneys are not permitted to give false or misleading information to you about this case or any other case. Fourth, they are required to inform you that they represent the company and that you are not required to give a statement. You should know that statements that you give to Lincoln or its lawyers will be used to defend the company against the suit seeking back wages the company may owe its employees, including wages owed to the employee giving the statement. We strongly believe that employees who may have FLSA claims should not give statements to an employer or its attorneys without receiving legal advice first. If you are asked to provide information or give a statement, contact Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm at (866) 736-2046 or 866-797-6040 first. The call is free and confidential.
Federal law requires employers to pay overtime wages for any work hours over 40 in a week even if you are paid piece rate. Employers must include breaks of 20 minutes or less in your recorded hours of work, regardless of how you use the time. An employer can legally not pay you overtime only if you are exempted from the law. To find out whether you are entitled to overtime pay, Call our office at 866-797-6040. The call is free and confidential.