Federal Judge Certifies Texas Leasing Agents in Class Action for Unpaid Overtime Wages

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United States District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade orders Texas Apartment Locators, Inc. to release names of leasing agents in ten days. Suit may affect workers across Texas.

These employees tell a consistent story. They were hired to perform work and, like most employees, they should have been paid for every hour they spent working. Instead, these employees were paid by commission. These employees are claiming that in slow weeks they weren’t making enough to satisfy even the minimum wage requirements

A case started by three leasing agents of Texas Apartment Locators, Inc. may soon involve hundreds of Texas workers following a ruling by United States District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade. On April 10, 2007, Judge Kinkeade ordered Texas Apartment Locators’ leasing agents to be conditionally certified as a class in an action for unpaid overtime and underpaid wages. The order gives Texas Apartment Locators ten days to turn over the names and last known addresses of its current and former employees (The case is No. 3:06-CV-1431-K, Ericson, et al. v. Texas Apartment Locators, Inc. et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas).

The suit affects leasing agents in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. According to the Texas Apartment Locators website, “Texas Apartment Locators has been locating Texas apartments and rental housing for Dallas Texas, Houston Texas, San Antonio Texas, and Austin Texas renters since 1972 and is considered one of the ‘founders’ of the ‘locating industry’ for Texas apartments.”

Texas employment lawyer Rob Wiley filed the action on behalf of three employees on August 10, 2006. The original three plaintiffs, James D. Ericson, 37, Christopher Reasor, 33, and Judy Hurlburt, 50, had met while they were working out of Texas Apartment Locators’ Dallas uptown office. The plaintiffs alleged that they were misclassified as independent contractors.

“These employees tell a consistent story. They were hired to perform work and, like most employees, they should have been paid for every hour they spent working. Instead, these employees were paid by commission. These employees are claiming that in slow weeks they weren’t making enough to satisfy even the minimum wage requirements,” explained Wiley.

“These employees also claim that they were sometimes working fifty or sixty hours a week. Despite these long hours, the employees claim they were being denied their overtime pay,” stated Wiley.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires most employers to pay overtime wages if an employee works over forty hours a week. The federally required overtime wage is the hourly wage plus fifty-percent. For instance, an employee who earns $10 per hour would earn $15 per hour of overtime worked. Additionally, an employer cannot pay employees less than the current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Rob Wiley or visit http://www.texasovertime.com.

About the Law Office of Rob Wiley, P.C.:
The Law Office of Rob Wiley, P.C. aggressively pursues unpaid overtime claims on behalf of employees. In addition to the lawsuit against Texas Apartment Locators, Wiley has overtime cases pending against Spherion Corp., Blockbuster, Inc., Grand Homes, Inc., and Perfect Home Care, Inc. Wiley is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in labor and employment law. The firm’s principle office is in Dallas, Texas.

Contact:
Rob Wiley, Attorney
Law Office of Rob Wiley, P.C.
(214) 528-6500, (214) 202-5568
http://www.texasovertime.com

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