FORT MYERS – A wage violation suit against Carlisos Construction Inc. by a former employee has been dropped.
abruptly pulled the plug on the suit he filed in U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Florida on Dec. 5. In his petition, Maldonado alleged that
he was routinely denied payment for overtime hours he regularly performed.
The suit directly
named the company and presumed owner Jose L. Cabrera as defendants.
represented in the litigation by Peter and Samara Bober from the
Hollywood-based firm of B&B P.A.
When contacted by
the Florida Record, Peter Bober repeatedly responded the firm would have
“no comment” on the most recent developments or why the suit was ended.
In his initial complaint,
Maldonado alleged that he regularly worked more than 40 hours per week,
but was never compensated for the extra hours, a blatant violation of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Maldonado had been
requesting a trial by jury, where he was seeking restitution for the unpaid
hours he worked, liquidated damages and any other relief the court deemed
appropriate. He was also requesting that Carlisos be held responsible for
paying all his legal fees.
“The FSLA is the
most basic wage and hourly law ever passed," Economic Policy Institute vice president
Ross Eisenbrey told The Record of the
nearly 80-year-old enactment. “The idea behind it was to spread work so people wouldn’t
have to work such long hours. Back then, the typical work week was about 60
hours. The law doesn’t prohibit more than a 40-hour work week, but it requires
that the worker be compensated at a rate of time one-half their regular wage.”
Carlisos bills itself as a general contracting operation specializing in
single-family housing and sunroom construction. The company has been in
business for roughly three years.
All Florida workers
are shielded from wage theft in the form of unpaid overtime work by the
federally mandated FSLA statute.
“Almost every hourly worker is covered by the
law and in some cases so are salary workers,” Eisenbrey added. “Many tweaks
have been made to it since its original enactment, most of them aimed at expanding
its jurisdiction to include even more workers like those in the public sector.”
The law also
requires that employees be paid at or above a stipulated minimum wage. In
Florida, the state minimum wage is higher than the federally mandated rate and
the state is generally considered to offer workers greater protections than
even some federally mandated laws.
Peter Bober also declined
to say when Maldonado left the company or if his departure was prompted by the
legal actions he took against the company.
The veteran Bober
previously served as mayor of Hollywood for eight years, leaving office in
2016. He specializes in the areas of civil litigation, employment law and
personal injury law.
Calls to Carlisos
for comment went unanswered.