MORGANTOWN - A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a clinical and pharmacologic research company in Monongalia County, claiming the company failed to pay federal taxes for its employees.

The suit, filed jointly by Michael Loss, Ann Sandor, Susan Jenkins, Carol Strang and Tammy Hunnell names Kendle International, Hiller Hardie and Yolanda Kaull as defendants.

The suit was filed due to Kendle's unlawful treatment of employees. The suit said the employees were treated as independent contractors for employment tax purposes. The company did not pay federal taxes, such as FICA or FUTA, which made the employees have to pay them, which is violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

"Failure to pay their share of employment taxes requires plaintiffs and other similarly situated to forego a portion of their wages to pay the share of these employment taxes that are ordinarily paid by the employer," the suit says.

The suit also says the company failed to pay some overtime wages at time and a half for those who worked more than 40 hours, which is violation of the FLSA.

The suit is filed for people who are presently working for Kendle, or have worked for Kendle in the past five years and are or were being treated as independent contractors.

"As a result of the defendants' wrongful treatment of the plaintiffs and members of the class as independent contractors, the plaintiffs and members of the class have been deprived of their full wages by defendants' failure to pay the employer's share of employment taxes, thereby forcing the plaintiffs and members of the class to forego a portion of their wages to pay the employer's share of these taxes," the suit says.

The plaintiffs in the case seek an injunction against Kendle and an award to the class members for damages for overtime pay and taxes.

Jane E. Peak of the law firm Allan N. Karlin and Associates is representing the class members.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-148

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