In this employment class action lawsuit, a former non-exempt marketing employee of MTS Taxes & More, LLC, doing business in Florida as Tax USA is alleging that during the period of June 2011 thorugh 2012, he clocked roughly 48 hours per week without receiving any compensation whatsoever. He argues that defendants breached a verbal agreement to pay him between seven and nine percent of the company's revenue, ultimately paying him nothing.
According to the complaint, the defendants in this case operated as an organization selling or marketing its services to customers from throughout the United States, providing its services across state lines and generating in excess of $500,000 per annum, thereby meeting coverage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. As such, plaintiff Jean Murat was and is entitled to the wage and overtime protections of the Act, thereby forming the basis of his lawsuit.
The plaintiff alleges specifically that as a condition of his employment, he entered into a verbal agreement with the defendants under which he would receive compensation totaling seven to nine percent of the firm's revenue in exchange for services rendered. During the relevant period, the plaintiff worked an average of 48 hours a week, well in excess of the 40 hours required before overtime pay obligations are incurred by the employer. However, it is alleged, he actually received nothing whatsoever in the way of compensation.
It is argued that the owners and operators of MTS Taxes & More knew of their obligations under the FLSA and/or recklessly disregarded their duty to pay the plaintiff and other similarly situated individuals overtime wages due. Plaintiff Murat also alleges that defendants' failure to post required notices under the FLSA informing employees of their rights under the law precludes them from raising the statute of limitations as a defense in this action.
Plaintiff Murat is seeking an award of actual damages in the amount shown due for unpaid wages and interest, an equal amount in liquidated damages, attorney fees and costs, all pursuant to relevant provisions of the FLSA as well as Florida's Minimum Wage Act. He also seeks damages under a theory of quantum meruit for the reasonable value of services he rendered to defendants as well as a theory of unjust enrichment conferred upon defendants by virtue of the work he performed.
The underlying purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act, also commonly referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill, is to establish a minimum wage, rules for overtime pay and record keeping standards benefitting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector as well as those employed by federal, state and local government entities. The Act applies to employees who are "engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or who are employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce." Typically speaking, an employer doing at least $500,000 of business or has $500,000 in gross sales annually will fall under the requirements of the FLSA, provided no other exception is applicable. Thus, such enterprises will be obliged to follow minimum wage, overtime and all other regulations when it comes to their employees.
Florida's Minimum Wage Act functions in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, though Florida Law requires a recalculation of the state minimum wage each year, and employees who do not receive that amount may bring a civil acgtion against their emplolyer or any other person violating the law. The state attorney general may also bring an enforcement action in situations where the minimum wage law is not being followed.