Wage & Hour Violations – Worker Exploitation – The SDT Waste & Debris Services Story

In prosecution of wage and hour violations…. the stakes are getting personal.

In several recent cases, the government has penalized company owners and officers for failing to pay overtime – imposing stiff fines and even imprisonment.

In one case, the president of a Minnesota sheetrock company was sentenced to two years in jail and a potential fine of $3.3 million for intentionally underpaying employee overtime and union pension and benefit contributions.

In another recent case, the owners and officers of an Illinois security company were fined over $200,000, constituting back wages and liquidated damages, for violating overtime and record keeping provisions. 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “any employer” who violates minimum wage or unpaid overtime compensation laws may be liable for both the shortfall and liquidated damages, which means double the damages. The FLSA definition of “employer” can be very broad. Along with supervisors and high-ranking executives, it can also include officers and directors.

To avoid both FLSA violations and personal liability, employers need to be sure they comply with all the relevant minimum wage, overtime, and other salary- and benefit-related regulations and agreements. Otherwise, they may find themselves paying a steep price. 

While the US Department of Labor is always tracking potential FLSA violations…..one case in particular……filed by Victor R. Farrugia, of the law firm of Farrugia Law, against SDT Waste & Debris Services and its former president Sidney Torres as a collective action under FLSA for overtime wage violations….put these defendants “right in the Crosshairs of Justice”

In 2008, SDT’s president, Sidney Torres IV, was dubbed by Forbes Magazine “The Trash King of New Orleans” because he saw an opportunity immediately after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans to start SDT Waste & Debris Services, a much needed garbage collection business. It paid off: In the six months after Katrina, the company had $24.5 million in gross sales.

The issue central to this case was whether SDT paid workers for all of the hours that they worked. SDT had a company practice of automatically deducting 30 minutes per day from their paychecks for a lunch break.

The law allows an automatic deduction for a meal break; however, if the company uses the auto deduct, the company is required to give its employees 30 minutes for the break that is uninterrupted by work duties.

The big problem was that over 200 former SDT workers were not allowed to take an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break. In fact SDT installed GPS devices on all of his trucks. If the trucks were stopped for a 10 minute period, a red stop sign would show up on the large screen monitors that the dispatchers were constantly monitoring. The dispatchers were told by management to find out why the trucks were stopped and to tell them to keep moving.

Today, for the first time ever the Insider Exclusive Investigative News Team “Goes Behind the Headlines” of this lawsuit, in a Network TV Special, “WAGE & HOUR VIOLATIONS- Worker Exploitation – The SDT Waste & Debris Services Story” …And interviews Victor Farrugia, who successfully settled this lawsuit for $450,000.

Victor Farrugia has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in New Orleans…. In Louisiana….. and in the United States

His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…but to make sure that everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.

He has seen many innocent & hard-working people become VICTIMS…. and because of that he is driven to fight for people who had been harmed by the willful or negligent actions of others.

He has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down. His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.

You can contact Victor Farrugia @ http://www.farrugialawfirm.com/ 504-525-0250