HUNTINGTON - In nine separate complaints, nine former employees of a Cabell County security company are suing it, alleging it failed to pay them overtime wages for their work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Craig Wood, David Wilson, Damatric Rembert, Rodger Murray, Jack Morrison, William Miller, Willie Mogrew, John Craft and Scott Carson filed the lawsuit June 9 in Cabell Circuit Court against West-Tek, Inc.

The complaints say the men worked more than 80 hours per week but were not paid on a regular basis. It also says they were promised $25 per hour but received only $15.

Carson's lawsuit says he was hired Sept. 29 by West-Tek to work a long-term assignment in New Orleans following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

He says he worked 84 hours per week.

"After working for several weeks without pay, Plaintiff and other similarly situated empoyees began to complain to Defendant about Defendant's failure to pay its employees," the lawsuit says.

"Soon after Plaintiff and other employees began to complain to Defendant about Defendant's failure to pay its employees, Defendant terminated Plaintiff's employment, in contradiction with Defendant's promise of long-term employment."

Carson says his last day of work was Nov. 21, and he was still owed several weeks of wages.

"Upon information and belief, Defendant was able to pay all amounts owed to Plaintiff promptly after Plaintiff's employment was terminated but deliberately withheld payment from Plaintiff without justification," the lawsuit says. "In fact, Defendant insisted that Plaintiff must appear in person at Defendant's office in Cabell County… and sign a waiver in order to receive any pay."

The plaintiffs charge West-Tek with failure to pay overtime wages, failure to pay wages when due, fraud, retaliation and outrageous and/or tortious conduct.

Cameron McKinney, David Grubb and Kristina Whiteaker of The Grubb Law Group in Charleston are representing the plaintiffs, who seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as civil penalties.

Judge John Cummings has been assigned three of the cases and Judge David Pancake has been assigned the other six.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers 06-C-426 through 06-C-434

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