West Virginia Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Department of Labor files suit against Apex Pipeline for wage payment violations

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 17, 2019


CHARLESTON — The federal Department of Labor is suing Apex Pipeline Services, alleging the company has violated federal employment laws.

Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta claims Apex has employees engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce and has annual gross volume sales made or business done of not less than $500,000, thereby affording coverage over all its employees pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to a complaint filed July 10 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Acosta claims Apex violated several provisions of the FLSA by employing workers for workweeks longer than those prescribed in the FLSA without compensating them at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular rates.

Apex is liable for payment of unpaid overtime compensation and an equal amount of liquidated damages under the FLSA, according to the suit.

Acosta claims from at least April 1, 2016, through at least March 23, 2018, Apex failed to pay employees one and one-half times their regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

"Specifically, Defendant failed to include per diem payments it made to employees when calculating each employee’s regular rate. Defendant’s failure to include these per diem payments in employees’ regular rate when calculating overtime compensation owed violated the Act," the complaint states.

Apex also misclassified some employees as exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA and, as a result, failed to pay those employees time and one-half for overtime hours worked during the workweek.

"Defendant’s failure to pay employees the overtime premium rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek violated the Act," the complaint states.

Acosta is seeking compensation for the affected employees, liquidated damages and an injunction enjoining Apex from withholding compensation from affected employees. Acosta is represented by solicitors Kate S. O'Scannlain, Oscar L. Hampton III, Samantha N. Thompson; Leah A. Williams with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Regional Solicitor; and U.S. Attorney Michael Stuart and Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred B. Westfall Jr.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:19-cv-00507

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