On June 13, 2011 Sabrina Bermudez filed suit against Lloyd Ward, Lloyd Ward & Associates, Debt RX USA, and Silverleaf Debt Solutions. The class action suit alleges the defendants did not pay proper wages for time worked.
The suit alleges the following facts.
Defendants specialize in selling and/or providing a variety of debt solution products and services, including debt settlement and debt management to a specific group of individuals.
Defendant Debt RX began selling debt solution products and services in approximately January 2009. In approximately November, 2009, the company changed its name to SilverLeaf Debt Solutions. The company is run in the same manner by the same individuals.
Plaintiff was employed by Defendants as a customer service representative / ”legal assistant” to provide customer service support for Defendants’ debt resolution/debt settlement clients from December 2009 until September 2010.
As a customer service representative / ”legal assistant,” Plaintiff was responsible for answering the telephones and responding to Defendants’ clients basic questions about their accounts. Plaintiff was responsible for other clerical and nondiscretionary duties associated with providing customer service support.
Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Ward & Associates, P.C. jointly employed, and were joint employers of Plaintiff and the Class Members. These parties worked in concert with and controlled the activities of Debt RX, SilverLeaf and their direct employees in providing debt solution services to their customers.
Customer service representatives / ”legal assistants” hold themselves out to be employees of Lloyd Ward & Associates, P.C. when providing customer service for individuals who have purchased Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Ward & Associates debt settlement services.
Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Ward & Associates determine and direct policies and procedures with respect to job duties for Plaintiff and the other Class Members. Plaintiff and the Class Members email addresses and email signatures indicated they were employed by Lloyd Ward & Associates. Lloyd Ward personally directed and trained Plaintiff and the Class Members in their job duties. Plaintiff and the Class Members were instructed to hold themselves out as individuals working for Lloyd Ward and Lloyd Ward & Associates when communicating with clients.
Plaintiff and the Cass Members were paid on an hourly basis, however they was not properly compensated for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. Plaintiff routinely worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but was not paid time-and-one-half her regular rate of pay for those hours. Instead, Plaintiff and Class Members were paid at the same hourly rate for all hours worked, rather than time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. In short, Plaintiff and the Class Members were paid straight time for overtime which violates the FLSA.
During the three year period prior to this suit, Defendants have employed individuals as a customer service representatives / “legal assistants” who performed the same job duties under the same pay provision as Plaintiff, who were denied overtime compensation in the same manner as Plaintiff.
Defendants knowingly, willfully, or with reckless disregard carried out their illegal pattern or practice of failing to pay proper overtime compensation with respect to Plaintiff and the Class Members.
The attorney that filed this case is:
J. DEREK BRAZIEL
Texas Bar No. 00793380
Texas Bar No. 24055180
Lee & Braziel, L.L.P.
1801 N. Lamar Street,
Dallas, Texas 75202
(214) 749-1400 phone
(214) 749-1010 fax
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