Wireless turfing contractor Goodman Networks Inc. has agreed to pay $2 million to former construction managers who claimed the company stiffed them on overtime pay after misclassifying them as exempt employees, according to a settlement statement obtained by Wireless Estimator that was filed in Texas federal court on Sept. 6.
The matter was litigated for two years, required numerous depositions and had the parties exchanging and reviewing nearly one million documents.
The complaint, made by Louis Vassallo on behalf of himself and 57 other plaintiffs, alleged that Goodman violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by requiring them to work six and seven days a week without paying them overtime.
The lawsuit reasoned that the construction manager’s primary duty is “to inspect worksites and report to supervisors who hold decision making authority.”
The complaint said the construction managers were not exempt employees because their routine inspection duties did not require significant discretion or independent judgment.
“If we told anyone on the site to do something differently, it was solely because that was what we were required to do so that they were in conformance with specifications,” said one construction manager.
“Any decision to plan or delay projects, budget, coordinate or pay is not within the discretion of Construction Managers,” the complaint said, stating that other than a title of “manager” attached to the plaintiff and class members’ job title, no basis of an exemption had been offered by Goodman.
Under the terms of the settlement, the 58 construction managers agreed to release all claims against Goodman and accept two $1 million settlement payments, of which their attorneys from Vethan Law Firm P.C. are to receive $831,000.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include: Louis Vassallo, Eric Bell, Fredrick Hawkins, Aaron Kandler, Timothy Greer, Patrick Kerr, and Rodrick Cole, Patrick Kerr, Jay Morgan, Patrick Palavicini, Byron Figueroa, Cheryl Marlin, Joe McCall, Adam Faulkner, Armando Posos, David Clark, Eschol Tarrant, Todd Fink, Armando Cisneros, Jonathan Porter, Bryan Widman, Matthew Eckhardt, Brian Devine, Roy Lawton, Lamonta Hogan, Steven Cribbs, Keith Bjornson, Paul Campbell, Matt McLaughlin, Luther Adams, Danny Carter, Jerry Adams, Ricardo Crespo, Robert Brite, Adam Southward, Bruce Potter, Eric Frazier, Keith McKinnon, Danny Evans, Morris Sudler, Kenneth Ziegler, Kenny Johnston, Lewis Estes, Richard Frank, Nicholas Mahoney, Shane Kelso, Christopher Lytle, Gerardo Gomez, Charles Federonis, Jimmie Cox, Kevin Washington, Paul Schultz, Phillip Tolliver, Roderick Hill, Gary English, Shane Levake, Paul Michalak, Joey Weibel, and Kevin Siddock.
In June, Dycom Industries acquired certain telecom-related assets of Goodman Networks’ wireline and wireless network deployment businesses for about $107.5 million in cash. Projected revenues for Goodman’s business fell short of what Dycom expected they would receive in 2017, the company reported.