Many people find employment law confusing. There are so many rules and exceptions, many of which frequently change, that it can be difficult to keep track of it all. That’s why it is so important to consult an attorney with expertise in wage and overtime law if you have any concerns regarding your employer.
Dioscoro Tocong, a Filipino parking attendant, did just that. After he was suspended for a minor mistake by his employer, AMPC Parking System Corporation (AMPCO), Tocong approached C. Joe Sayas Jr., a well-known Filipino litigation attorney, to help him in his legal battle against the company.
Upon discussing his situation with other employees, Tocong found that he was not the company’s only victim of alleged wage and overtime violations. By the time they settled, the class consisted of about 10,000 employees working in the state of California for AMPCO or its parent corporation, ABM industries.
AMPCO operates about 750 parking facilities in California, ranging from retail complexes to airports. They employ workers in hourly, non-exempt positions such as valets, attendants, cashiers, and maintenance workers.
The class action, which consolidated four similar cases against AMPCO and ABM, was led by Joaquin Diaz, a cashier at the AMPCO parking facility in Glendale, California. The lawsuit clamed failure to pay compensation for missed meal and rest periods; failure to pay overtime; failure to pay minimum wage; unfair competition; failure to pay wages; waiting time penalties; failure to keep and furnish accurate wage statements; and civil penalties under the Private Attorney General Act.
Discovery exposed the alleged fact that parking lots were frequently attended by just one employee, making it difficult, if not impossible, for that employee to take their mandated breaks. One case involved a cashier at the Grove parking lot who had kidney problems but allegedly was afraid to go to the restroom for fear of getting in trouble if she left her post.
AMPCO claims that these alleged problems were limited to one location, and not a company-wide problem but the discovery revealed otherwise. Sayas says they found it was a widespread problem throughout the state of California, including facilities in Century City, San Jose, San Diego, as well as other cities.
The battle has been a long one, but the plaintiffs finally prevailed with a settlement of $4.7 million. After filing the lawsuit in 2006, the procession of “arms-length negotiations between the parties, made after years of hard-fought litigation, including extensive discovery, multiple motions, a class certification battle that went favorably for the employees, and drawn-out mediation and settlement process” finally resulted in the multi-million dollar settlement.
Sayas said the most disheartening aspect was the number of workers he talked to who were unaware of their rights as an employee. No doubt, they are now glad they consulted him.
The attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against companies for forcing employees to work off the clock at business such as parking garage chains and gas station chains, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have many years of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage theft. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Carol Stream and Addison. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Glen Ellyn and Western Springs overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.