Safelite Sued for Violation of Fair Labor Standards
February 4, 2013

by Casey Neeley,

In a class-action complaint filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, plaintiff David Trent alleges that while he worked for Safelite Fulfillment Inc. the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

In the complaint, Trent alleges that Safelite failed to pay him in accordance with the FLSA specifically times when Trent worked through his lunch break but was not compensated for the additional 30 minutes of work.

According to court documents, "despite defendant's actual or constructive knowledge that plaintiff was working during his lunch periods, plaintiff was not paid for such lunch periods, and as a result, defendant failed to pay plaintiff at time and one half his regular rate of pay for hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40."

Counsel for Trent further contends in the complaint, "Although employees regularly perform work for defendant during their lunch period and are frequently not provided at least a 30-minute uninterrupted lunch break, defendant nevertheless deducts one half hour per workday for a lunch break regardless of whether or not an employee actually gets that lunch break. The improper practice/policy results in employees, such as plaintiff and putative class members, not being paid overtime compensation for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek."

Trent worked as an auto glass repair technician specialist at one of Safelite's Dallas/Fort Worth-area locations from June 9, 2004 to October 12, 2012. Counsel for Trent alleges that during this time he and any forthcoming class members were subjected to policies which had them "work 'off-the-clock' whereby plaintiff and the putative class members were not compensated in compliance with the FLSA for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour division FLSA fact sheet, "An employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work. Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay."

Within the complaint, all qualifying potential class members are, "All auto glass repair or installation technicians who worked for defendant within the last three years who were classified as non-exempt employees, who, as a result of working through their lunch periods, worked in excess of 40 hours in one or more workweeks and were not compensated at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one or more workweeks."

Melina Metzger, spokesperson for Safelite, had not responded to request for comment at press time.

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