MARTINSBURG – The companies that install Dish Network satellites in West Virginians homes are asking the federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against them in which a man says he was not paid for overtime hours he worked.
In their answer to a complaint John Ray filed against Via Satellite Inc., Warren Staffing Company, Jeffrey Lehew and Sondra Lehew, the defendants contend Ray's complaint should be dismissed because Ray was exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Ray filed his complaint against the companies and their directors on May 1 in Berkeley Circuit Court.
Ray says he worked as an installer for Warren Staffing Company and Via Satellite in Spring Mills for about seven months in 2007 and from May 22, 2008, until Dec. 2.
Throughout his career, Ray frequently worked for more than 40 hours per work for which he was not paid overtime, according to the complaint.
In addition, he was not paid bonuses and commissions to which he was entitled, the complaint says.
Via Satellite and Warren Staffing Company failed to fully reimburse Ray for goods he purchased for the Super Buddy Satellite Meter, which he was required to use when servicing Dish customers, the suit states.
However, the defendants deny all the allegations against them and say Ray was paid all money to which he was entitled.
"Defendants did not permit or suffer Plaintiff to work in any capacity or during any period of time for which he has not been properly compensated," the suit states. "Plaintiff was timely paid his full wages owed by Defendants."
The defendants are asking the court to dismiss the complaint against them, plus to award them costs and other relief it deems appropriate.
In his complaint, Ray is seeking liquidated damages, attorney's fees, costs, interest, a full and complete accounting of all payroll and timekeeping and other relief the court deems just.
The defendants removed the case to federal court on May 19 because they say the complaint involves a question of federal law.
Robert J. Schiavoni and David M. Hammer of Hammer, Ferretti and Schiavoni in Martinsburg will be representing Ray.
Rodney L. Bean of Steptoe and Johnson in Morgantown and Sarah L. Hinkle of Steptoe and Johnson in Martinsburg will be representing the defendants.
U.S. District Court case number: 3:09-CV-34