On Thursday, July 23, 2020, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP alongside Shellist Lozarz Slobin LLP filed a collective action lawsuit against BLS Painting, Inc. (“BLS Painting”) for unpaid wages. The painting service provider, based outside of Austin, Texas, has been accused of failing to pay its laborers properly for overtime. This lawsuit seeks to recover overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for painters, helpers, and other similarly situated workers (collectively “Painters”) who work or have worked for BLS Painting.
The company compensates its Painters on an hourly rate basis. Despite being non-exempt employees, BLS Painting has failed to properly pay its Painters overtime compensation at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay when they work over 40 hours per workweek. In this regard, they have instituted a policy and practice where they pay similarly situated Painters “straight time” for overtime hours the company records. In addition, they do not compensate Painters for work time performed before the day’s first job site, for work performed after the day’s last job site, and for travel time. Painters work in “crews” that travel to a shop to perform work to prepare for their workday. For instance, Painters arrive at the shop 1 hour to 1.5 hours before arriving at the official job site in order to load the day’s supplies and materials into the work vans, clean the work vans, organize the work vans, fuel them, and otherwise prepare for the day’s job assignments. Upon finishing their work at their assigned job site(s), Painters travel back to their shop location to unload the work vehicles and perform any other tasks as assigned by BLS Painting. Such return travel time and unload time generally ranged anywhere between 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Despite these work hours, Defendants have instituted a policy and practice in which they do not compensate Painters for the time spent working at the shop in the mornings, the travel time from the shop to the first job site, and the travel time from the last job site back to the shop and end of day work duties.
If you or anyone you know works or has worked for BLS Painting in the last three years, they may be eligible to join this matter. Call our firm at (212) 300-0375 to learn how your rights may be affected. Additionally, if you work in the industry and are experiencing similar issues, you may have a claim for owed wages. Call us for a free and confidential consultation or visit our website for more information.
You can also view the filed complaint here.