Former employee suing Florida testing lab for unpaid overtime

By Elizabeth Alt | May 24, 2018

A complaint was filed in the Southern Florida District Court on May 18 alleging Blackwater Testing and other parties owe the plaintiff “unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, and the costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees of this action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”

A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on May 18 alleging Florida-based Blackwater Testing and other parties owe a former employee “unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, and the costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees of this action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).”

Erik Coppola is suing his former employers Blackwater Testing Inc, New Line Construction Inc, manager Dennis W. Duffy and several entities of Blackwater for unpaid overtime wages, damages and court costs. Coppola filed this suit on behalf of himself and potential other employees that are owed overtime wages from the companies.

Blackwater is a test lab in Palm Beach County that tests window, door, and hurricane protection products. Coppola was hired as a lab technician for Blackwater in 2012 and was promoted to lab lanager. As a lab technician, Coppola said his duties including receiving and logging supplies for product testing, constructing frames for testing, testing and documenting product performance, performing on-site field testing, and tearing down product tests and disposing of the materials.

As a lab manager, Coppola continued to perform lab technician duties as well as travelling to the West Palm Beach Work Release Center to pick up new employees, driving the work release employees to Duffy’s personal residence to perform work and driving employees to stores to pick up supplies, even during lunch hours.

Coppola claims he regularly had to be at Duffy’s residence before his scheduled start to pick up supplies, perform work, open the office and drive work release employees around, and was not compensated for that time. Coppola alleges that from 2015 to 2017 he worked 5 overtime hours each week and that he is owed $18,000.

The suit alleges Blackwater violated the FLSA by not recording correct hours worked and not paying the 1.5-hour overtime wage. The suit also claims Blackwater “knowingly and willfully did not provide time and one-half compensation for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week.”

The plaintiff is requesting a trial by jury.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case Number 9:18-cv-80663-DMM

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