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National Grid Workers Sue For Overtime In Sandy Aftermath

Friday, November 16, 2012

National Grid PLC employees hit the company with a putative class action Friday alleging they hadn't received overtime pay for the 60- to 80-hour workweeks they had put in since Hurricane Sandy hit late last month.  The complaint, filed by Local 101 Transport Workers Union of America President Michael Conigliaro, says that since Sandy hit Oct. 29, employees in the affected areas have been working six to seven days a week on 12- to 16-hour shifts, which qualifies them for overtime.  “Defendants’ failure to pay plaintiffs anything, much less time-and-a-half, for their overtime hours worked was willful within the meaning of the [Fair Labor Standards Act],” the complaint said.Conigliaro is joined by five other employees as plaintiffs in the suit.

The putative class includes similarly situated, nonmanagerial employees who have worked in excess of 40 hours a week and were not paid minimum wage or overtime.  The employees bringing the suit are largely responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing gas services, according to the complaint.  The plaintiffs claim National Grid is liable for unpaid compensation and liquidated damages.  National Grid said in a statement that the company is addressing an automated payroll issue that has affected some of its employees.  "All affected employees will be made whole as soon as possible," the statement said.  The overtime action comes days after National Grid was attacked in another suit over its response in the aftermath of Sandy. A proposed class action filed Tuesday against National Grid and the Long Island Power Authority blasted their preparation for and response to the hurricane and accused them of disregarding routine electrical system maintenance and having a poor disaster management plan. (click on link to read full story) 

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Yoana Rodriguez is a lawyer from Guatemala whose main interest lies with human rights, specifically with indigenous communities and women’s rights. Rodriguez volunteers regularly at The Advocates for Human Rights on their National Asylum Help Line, or Linea de Ayuda Nacional de Asilo. LEARN MORE

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