On October 28, 2019, the law firms of DiCello Levitt Gutzler, LLC; Berger Montague PC; Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP; and Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP filed a collective action and class action complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and for breach of contract, on behalf of “all current and former non-exempt, hourly-paid employees of North Carolina Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) and Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (“DAC”) who worked as security personnel in a correctional institution at any time from October 28, 2016 to the present.” The case is Matthew Hodge, et al. v. NC Dept. of Public Safety, et al.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of corrections officers and sergeants employed by DPS or DAC, alleges that DPS and DAC violated the federal FLSA and common law contract principles by failing to pay its corrections officers and sergeants for all hours and overtime worked. For example, the Complaint alleges that corrections officers are paid for 12.25 hours for their shift regardless of how many hours they actually work. The Complaint further alleges that the corrections officers and sergeants perform a long list of tasks before and after their paid shift. These tasks are critical to maintaining the safety and security of the facilities, and the Complaint alleges that the Plaintiffs and other officers and sergeants should have gotten paid for them, but did not.
The Following Documents are Available for Review:
For questions about the case against DPS and DAC, please email NC-Guards@dicellolevitt.com. If you currently or previously worked for DPS or DAC, please download and complete the opt-in consent form. Further information is set forth below.
Am I Eligible to Participate in This Lawsuit?
All corrections officers and sergeants employed by DPS or DAC at any time since October 28, 2016, who worked before or after their paid shift without compensation may be eligible to join the lawsuit as opt-in plaintiffs.
In order to participate in this lawsuit, class members must affirmatively indicate that they want to be included by filing an opt-in consent form, located above.
The Opt-In Consent Form Should be Returned to:
Attn: NC Corrections Officers FLSA Action
Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP
5101 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 429-2294 – Facsimile
All potential plaintiffs should be aware that under federal law there is a limited time period in which plaintiffs are permitted to join the case by filing an opt-in consent form to assert their claims. This is called the statute of limitations. All claims are subject to this limitations period. The statute of limitations for an FLSA claim generally is a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years from the date the opt-in consent form is filed with the court. This means that the time period for your FLSA claim will begin either two or three years prior to the date you opt in to an active lawsuit. Therefore, if you believe you have a claim against DPS or DAC under the FLSA, you should contact us as soon as possible.
Do I Have to Pay Any Fees to the Attorneys?
Our law firms are handling this case on a contingent fee basis. This means that we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or a final judgment, and that payment will come out of that settlement or final judgment. Therefore, you do not have to pay anything to our law firms in order to join the lawsuit.
How Do I Prove My Claim for Unpaid Wages and Overtime?
Where the employer does not keep accurate time records, the law permits employees to make a good faith estimate of their overtime or hours worked. Where the employer keeps accurate time records, those records may be used.