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Temp Agency Workers: We Were Cheated Out Of Pay

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Scales Of Justice

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Dozens of workers for a temporary staffing company in the southwest suburbs, say they’ve been cheated out of pay they earned.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the workers are now suing in federal court.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

A total of 120 employees at Reliable Staffing in New Lenox accuse the company of shortchanging them on pay, and illegally withholding information that would have allowed them to figure out how much they were owed.

“In the lead-up to the Christmas season – the holiday season – they worked an inordinate number of hours, well in excess of 40, for many of the weeks that they worked prior to the holidays,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Williams, “and they were not even paid even the federal or state minimum wage.”

 “Basically I just got paid in Monopoly money,” worker Robert Hines told CBS 2’s Jim Williams.

The employees says they performed grueling work, moving boxes, only to be short-changed in the paychecks.

Demetrie Collins said one week he worked 55 hours, but was paid for only 33 hours.

What made it worse, the workers said, is that Reliable would not even discuss their paychecks.

“The lady actually hung up on me,” Hines said.

 Reliable’s  top executive would not talk on camera with CBS 2, but he disputed the plaintiffs’ claims in a statement. It said:

 “We have offered every individual named in the complaint a sit-down meeting with myself to go over any and all of their concerns. To date, only one individual has taken us up on it. The individual that met with me earned more than the law required for every week he worked.”

Williams, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said he doesn’t even know how much the workers are due in back pay.

“The way in which people were paid was so convoluted, it’s going to require a significant amount of review of the records that the employer was required by law to keep,” Williams said.

The plaintiffs are asking the court for class-action status, so the lawsuit can cover all of the company’s workers statewide.

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