Exelon, staffing companies accused of shorting specialized contractors OT pay

By Dan Churney | Mar 9, 2019

Specialists once employed by Exelon are suing the Chicago-headquartered power provider and three staffing companies in federal court, alleging defendants short-circuited labor law by withholding overtime pay.

An amended putative class action was lodged Feb. 27 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Gregory Stevens of Texas; Karen Potts of Louisiana; and Alan Crary and Paul Troia, both of New York. Besides Exelon, plaintiffs are also suing Maxeta Technologies Inc. of Skillman, N.J.; Work Management Inc. of Greensboro, Ga.; and Bucher & Christian Consulting Inc. of Indianapolis.

Stevens was an Exelon contractor at a facility in Texas; Potts was an employee in Pennsylvania; and Crary and Troia were contractors at a plant in New York. 

Plaintiffs alleged defendants breached the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws in Pennsylvania and New York by wrongly classifying them, and others similarly situated, as exempt from overtime provisions of the act and the state laws.

Sellers first brought the suit in October solely against Exelon, but Exelon argued the complaint was "confusing" and short on information. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer dismissed the action Feb. 6, but permitted Sellers to amend his suit, which he did, joined by three new plaintiffs and adding the three new defendants.

Stevens made $90 per hour as a start-up/director manager; Crary made $75 hourly as a schedule analyst; and Troia made $95 hourly as a technical writer, the suit said. The hourly pay for Potts, who was a cost controller and project facilitator, was not included in the suit. 

According to plaintiffs, they each worked for Exelon during varying periods from September 2015 to January 2018.

Plaintiffs alleged they were not paid time and a half, as required by law, when they worked more than 40 hours in a week, only receiving straight time. At least two plaintiffs said they regularly worked 50 to 60 hours per week. On the other hand, when plaintiffs worked fewer than 40 hours, they claimed they were only paid the hours worked. 

Plaintiffs added Exelon and the staffing concerns "co-determine and share control over the terms and conditions of employment," which includes setting pay and hours. Plaintiffs want their putative class action to cover anyone who worked for Exelon, directly or through third-party entities, in the past three years and were paid "straight time for overtime."

Plaintiffs demand they be given the overtime pay, with interest, as well as damages equal to their unpaid overtime compensation. They also want defendants to take care of their legal costs. Plaintiffs are represented by the Chicago firm of Werman Salas P.C., and Bruckner Burch PLLC and Josephson Dunlap Law Firm, both of Houston.

Exelon is defended by the firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, of Chicago and Philadelphia. No lawyers had yet filed appearances for the staffing companies when this article was published.

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Organizations in this Story

Bruckner Burch PLLC Exelon Corporation Josephson Dunlap Law Firm Morgan Lewis and Bockius LLP U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Werman Salas

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