Benjamin Healthcare in Roxbury Sued for Alleged Wage Violations
BOSTON/Roxbury – A Roxbury man is suing the Benjamin Healthcare Center (BHC) alleging that his former employer failed to pay him earned overtime and vacation pay.
Daniel Hickey filed the lawsuit in federal court in April, which claims that BHC violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage laws during his employment with the company from 1995 to January this year.
The court complaint alleges that “the defendant violated federal wage laws by failing to pay overtime compensation to an hourly employee who regularly worked more than forty hours per week [and] also failed to pay plaintiff for all of his earned but unused vacation time.”
It’s claimed that during at least the last three years Hickey “worked as an hourly employee at BHC for more than 40 hours per week during numerous weeks, but the defendant never paid him any required overtime.”
According to a number of paystubs attached as an exhibit in the lawsuit and seen by Open Media Boston, on multiple occasions Hickey worked more than 40 hours in a given week, but the rate of pay remained at a flat hourly rate for each hour worked.
The complaint alleges that as “demonstrated by these paystubs, the defendant knowingly and willfully failed to pay … Hickey overtime when he worked more than 40 hours per week, and the defendant knowingly … permitted him to work more than 40 hours per week.”
It’s also claimed that the “defendant had a policy and practice of paying employees earned but unused vacation time,” and that in “violation of that policy and practice, the defendant unilaterally deducted earned but unused vacation time from … Hickey without compensation and then failed to pay him his earned but unused vacation time when he was terminated.”
According to the complaint, Hickey received a ‘right to sue letter’ after filing a complaint with the fair labor division of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.
The complaint asks the court to award damages for all unpaid overtime wages and all unpaid vacation time – which would include treble damages mandatory under Massachusetts law – and the award of attorney fees and costs.
It is not indicated whether or not Hickey was allegedly classified by the company as an employee exempt from overtime pay.
Open Media Boston contacted Benjamin Healthcare for a response to the allegations made in the lawsuit, but the request went unanswered.
Hickey’s lawyer could not be reached before the filing of this report.
The case will be heard in federal court in Boston by District Judge Nathaniel Gorton.