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ABB Motors and Mechanical Before- and After-Shift Time Class Action

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This class action tells an old story—the alleged failure of an employer to pay workers for overtime hours. The employer in question is ABB Motors and Mechanical, Inc. and the complaint brings suit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA).

Two classes have been defined for this action.

  • The FLSA Class is all hourly workers who were or will be employed by ABB at any time within the statute of limitations period who were classified by ABB as non-exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA and are entitled to payment for damages, including overtime premiums for all hours worked in excess of forty per week, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees. 
  • The AMWA Rule 23 Class is hourly workers who are or were employed by ABB during the statute of limitations period within Arkansas.

ABB makes industrial electric motors, drives, and mechanical power transmission products at its plants throughout the US. Plaintiffs Wesley Yoakum and Brandon Gibbons are non-exempt employees who worked at the company’s Clarksville, Arkansas plant. 

The facility usually operates twenty-four hours per day, and workers are scheduled for eight-hour shifts. However, the complaint alleges that workers must arrive for their shifts fifteen to twenty minutes before it begins, in order to receive information and instruction and to prepare their workstations. After their shifts are over, they must stay an additional fifteen to twenty minutes to clean up their workstations and pass information on to workers on the following shift. This means that in reality they work eight and a half to nine hours per shift. 

The complaint says, “Upon information and belief, [ABB] maintain[s] time clock records that reflect the actual time that hourly workers, including [Yoakum and Gibbons], are at the Clarksville plant.” However, they are not paid for all of that time.

When workers recorded the real hours—clocking in early and clocking out late, within a fifteen-minute window—the complaint alleges that “their starting and stopping times were rounded against them to their scheduled starting and stopping times”—that is, to the scheduled shift only. The employees were therefore not compensated for all the hours they worked, the complaint says, or for any overtime they accumulated with the extra time required before and after their eight-hour shifts. 

Workers were scheduled to work five or six days per week at the plant, but the complaint says they “were not compensated for all the time they worked, including all of the overtime hours they worked over 40 in a workweek.”

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