Former Herb Chambers Employee Alleges Raw Deal on Overtime Pay
Somerville, Mass. – A former auto-service advisor at Herb Chambers car repair in Somerville is suing the company alleging that he was wrongly categorized as an exempt employee and consequently not compensated overtime pay owed to him.
Scott O’Brien, a former Massachusetts resident now living in Pennsylvania filed the class-action lawsuit in federal court in Boston against the company after working at its Somerville dealership for an unspecified length of time.
According to the court complaint, the company which is based in Somerville, allegedly knowingly failed to pay O’Brien, and other employees in similar work roles, overtime pay.
It alleges that the defendant “misclassified” auto-service advisors as employees exempt from overtime requirements in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The complaint also claims that the defendant failed to provide a full 30 minute break, where the advisors “were fully relived of all work duties,” and despite requiring them to work during these breaks, the defendants “did not compensate” them for any work performed “during their unpaid meal period.”
It’s alleged that the Herb Chambers company “do not pay their auto service advisors on an hourly basis and do not pay [them] overtime for hours worked over 40 hours per week despite the federal Department of Labor clarifying and reiterating on April 11, 2011 that auto service advisors were ‘non-exempt’ and subject to the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the federal [law].”
The complaint claims that despite receiving notice from O’Brien, the defendants “did nothing to change these policies and practices and continued to refuse to pay its auto service providers any overtime wages for hours worked over 40 hours per week.”
It’s also alleged that despite “its knowledge that [O’Brien and the other class action members] should have been paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours per week under both state and federal law, [d]efendants have refused to fully compensate workers at their auto repair facilities for any overtime work performed.”
Those who may be contained in the class action lawsuit include “all current and former auto service advisors employed by [d]efendants in Massachusetts from April, 2011 through the time of the entry of [j]udgment” in the case, which may include “at least 70 present and former auto service advisor employees,” the complaint claims.
The Herb Chambers companies named in the lawsuit, include approximately 50 car dealerships, 48 auto-repair facilities, and three collision centers in the Bay State. Open Media Boston contacted the Herb Chambers company for a press statement in regard to the allegation made by O’Brien, but the request went unanswered.
The lawsuit is being brought under both federal and state labor laws, and is seeking compensation for the allegedly unpaid wages, damages, and legal costs.
O’Brien originally filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s fair labor division and received a ‘right to sue’ letter in September last year.
Lawyers for O’Brien could not be reached for further comment on the lawsuit before the filing of this report.
The case will be heard in Boston by US District Judge Richard Stearns.