Ex-drivers for Vehi-Ship file putative class action suit claiming FLSA violations

By Karen Kidd | Nov 24, 2017

CHICAGO – Two former employees of a Texas-based vehicle transportation company recently filed a putative class-action suit against the company claiming they and other employees were not paid for all hours worked and all overtime hours.

Michael Mackey and Willie Redmond, both of Chicago, filed their case on Oct. 26 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The two claim their former employer, Vehi-Ship, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, Illinois Minimum Wage Law and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The two claim they were "victims of Vehi-Ship's common policies and plans that violated their rights under the FLSA, IMWL and IWPCA by failing to pay proper compensation for all hours worked, including time-shaving from employees' hours, improperly classifying the class members as independent contractors, failing to compensate at the proper overtime rate for all hours worked over 40 per workweek and unlawfully deducting from employees' wages," the lawsuit said.

"At all relevant times, Vehi-Ship’s unlawful policies and patterns or practices have been willful," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are represented by Richard J. Miller of the Miller Law Firm in Schaumburg and Scott C. Polman, who maintains a law office in Niles. 

Both men were drivers in Chicago for Vehi-Ship. Mackey worked for the defendant from about August 2016 to September 2017, and Redmond worked there from about February 2017 to September 2017, according to the lawsuit. The two claim they and other Vehi-Ship drivers worked an average of 10 to 12 hours per day, seven days a week, and were paid $10 for each car delivered.

They also claim Vehi-Ship engaged in a "time-shaving" policy that did not pay the drivers for all hours worked and made improper deductions from drivers' pay for damage to vehicles they were transporting "and other 'miscellaneous' amounts."

Vehi-Ship also allegedly failed to properly track, monitor or record the actual number of hours per day that its drivers worked as required under the FLSA, the lawsuit said. Mackey and Redmond also claim their paystubs often failed to properly list their hours worked.

It isn't clear how large the class could be, except that there are more than 100 members in the Illinois class, according to the lawsuit. 

"The members of the Illinois class are so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable," the lawsuit said. "Although the precise number of such persons is unknown, the facts on which the calculation of that number can be based are presently within the sole control of Vehi-Ship."

The lawsuit alleges that as a consequence of Vehi-ship's alleged "willful underpayment of wages... [the] plaintiffs and members of the FLSA collective incurred damages... and Vehi-Ship is indebted to them in the amount of the unpaid overtime compensation, together with interest, liquidated damages, attorneys' fees and costs in an amount to be determined at trial."

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Miller Law Firm U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Vehi-Ship

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