HAMMOND | Coinciding with the approach of the Labor Day holiday, a group of Lake County Highway Department workers are crying foul over complaints of uncompensated overtime work.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Thursday, Highway Department workers David Durham, Ronald Gregory, Rodney Kozyra, John Rust, Jan Smoljan, Kenneth Taylor, James Russell and Kenny Wood seek recovery of unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, court records stated. The plaintiffs claim they are entitled to time-and-a-half of their normal hourly wages for work time in excess of 40 hours per week.
The lawsuit states the plaintiffs have received overtime pay in the past, but over the past two years the Lake County Highway Department has designated them as “exempt” for overtime pay. The lawsuit does not elaborate further on the reasoning behind the alleged denial of overtime benefits.
The plaintiffs claim they have documentation they worked more than 40 hours during certain weeks but were not paid the legal wage, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs, represented by Merrillville attorney Michael J. Rappa, are seeking unspecified back pay in addition to attorney fees and other costs and damages.
Lake County Highway Department Superintendent Marcus Malczewski and County Attorney John Dull were unable to be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon.