CitiGroup, Inc. Allegedly Used “Contractors” to Avoid Federal Overtime Pay Rules

NEW YORK, May 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The law firms of Outten & Golden LLP, Stephan Zouras, LLP, and Burr & Smith, LLP announced today that Citigroup, Inc. and Judge Technical Services, Inc. are accused of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a nationwide class and collective action lawsuit filed in Tampa, Fla.

The case would potentially include thousands of individuals who worked as contractors for Citi throughout the nation, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Ohio, according to the law firms.

Pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the lawsuit was brought by plaintiffs Caroline Alana Lewis-Gursky and Ruben Chez.

The lawsuit alleges that Citi used contracting agencies such as Judge to avoid the FLSA’s overtime requirements by failing to pay members of the putative FLSA Collective (“Collective Members”) who worked at Citi for hours they worked beyond 40 each week. Collective Members are alleged to have worked numerous overtime hours “off-the-clock” without receiving all compensation owed for those hours.

Ms. Lewis-Gursky, who worked as an hourly paid technical project manager, said, “When I worked more than 40 hours in a week I would often try to enter those additional hours in Citi’s timekeeping system, but those entries would be rejected, and I would not be paid for those additional hours that I worked.”

In Tampa, where the lawsuit is filed, Citi has been making news for considering a move that would bring up to 1,163 more jobs to the area. More employees may mean more workers failing into the same predicament as Ms. Lewis-Gursky and the other Collective Members, the legal team said.

Molly Brooks, of Outten & Golden LLP, said, “Our lawsuit seeks to hold accountable companies that desire to flout the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is becoming increasingly more common for companies to enter into arrangements with contractors to try to avoid paying overtime compensation, but the FLSA allows for suits seeking to hold companies like Citi as joint employees.”

Ms. Brooks added, “Citi cannot avoid its obligations under the FLSA by calling these workers contractors when they treat them like employees.”

Ryan Stephan, of Stephan Zouras LLP, said, “The FLSA was enacted to help protect hourly workers forced to work long hours ‘off-the-clock’ without receiving all of the wages they are owed.”

The case is Caroline Alana Lewis-Gursky, and Ruben Chez, et al. v. Citigroup, Inc., and Judge Technical Services, Inc., No. 15 Civ. 2887, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Source: Outten & Golden LLP

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