NC Justice Center, Blue, LLP searching for hundreds of workers who were not paid overtime while building the largest solar farm east of the Mississippi.
RALEIGH (January 28, 2019)– The NC Justice Center and co-counsel Dhamian Blue of Blue, LLP filed a class and collective action lawsuit on behalf of individuals who were hired to build Innovative Solar 46, a utility-scale solar farm in Hope Mills, North Carolina in 2015-16. The workers assert that they were misclassified as independent contractors.
Misclassification is the practice of treating workers as contractors when they should be employees. “Businesses often treat workers as contractors rather than employees in order to avoid the cost of basic protections, such as minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance,” said Clermont Ripley, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Misclassification not only harms vulnerable workers, such as the plaintiffs, but it also hurts law-abiding businesses that can’t compete with companies that don’t pay their employees properly.”
Construction on the solar farm began in August 2015 and the solar farm was operational by the end of 2016. Several hundred workers were hired to build the solar facility, which is described as the single largest solar farm ever built east of the Mississippi River.
The former employees filed their case, Martinez v. Alpha Technologies Services,in the Eastern District of North Carolina. It alleges that hundreds of workers hired to perform manual labor in the construction of the Hope Mills solar farm were not paid overtime despite regularly working more than 40 hours per week. It also alleges that the workers had 5% of their pay illegally deducted each week to cover the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. The Defendants are East Carolina Commercial Services, Solar Guys , Cesar Mendoza, Jorge Ramos and Alpha Technologies Services. According to the suit, the general contractor at the start of construction, Alpha Technologies Services from Washington state, hired Virginia-based Solar Guys, Inc., to supply all of the labor for the project and Solar Guys then subcontracted with newly formed East Carolina Commercial Services, LLC to also provide labor.
Judge Flanagan of the Eastern District of North Carolina, recently extended the deadline for persons who worked on the Hope Mills solar farm through East Carolina Commercial Services and the other defendants to join the lawsuit and pursue the overtime and other wages due. Workers now have up to May 27, 2019 to ask to be included in the lawsuit and any potential recovery of unpaid wages under the federal overtime and minimum wage law.
Workers who believe they have a claim should contact counsel for the Plaintiffs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT www.hopemillssolarfarm.com or CONTACT: Clermont Ripley, firstname.lastname@example.org/919-856-2154; Carol Brooke, email@example.com/919-856-2144; Dhamian Blue, firstname.lastname@example.org/919-833-1931.