(Altamonte Springs, FL) June 19, 2023 — Nissan mechanics in Central Florida have come together to file collective action lawsuits against their employers for failing to pay minimum wage or overtime hours. On Thursday, éclat Law filed complaints against four dealerships in the Orlando area: Universal Nissan, Reed Nissan Orlando, Reed Nissan Clermont, and Sutherlin Nissan. These dealerships followed a policy set by Nissan North America which paid its mechanics on a “piece-rate” or “flat-rate basis,” rather than an hourly or salary wage. This did not meet the federal minimum wage when accounting for all hours worked, nor did it compensate workers at a time-and-a-half rate for overtime hours. Both are violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The “piece-rate” or “flat-rate” compensation program is when an employee is paid a fixed rate for each unit produced or service performed—these are called “flagged hours.” According to the complaints, this system historically encouraged mechanics to work faster and resulted in increased profit for them and their employers, however, it has been misused by these dealerships to compensate below minimum wage and withhold overtime pay. Nissan mechanics spent numerous unaccounted-for hours each week doing other work like cleaning, training, and attending meetings but were not compensated for those because they were not “flagged hours.” For example, a Lead Plaintiff got one paycheck stating that he worked 13 hours in a week when in fact, he had worked over 60.
Central Florida Nissan dealerships also benefited from kickbacks in their employees’ wages. Their mechanics were regularly forced to buy and maintain their own tools, equipment, and supplies without any reimbursement. The complaints state that these extraordinary out-of-pocket costs further reduced workers’ pay to below the minimum wage threshold.
In other cases, employees had more than 40 hours of work documented on their paychecks but did not receive the minimum required time-and-a-half-rate of overtime pay due to the flat- or piece-rate system.
“We are fighting back on behalf of workers who have been taken advantage of by their employer,” stated éclat attorney Kevin Ross-Andino. “Their hard work should be fairly compensated under the law.”
All individuals who believe they have been affected by these practices should contact éclat Law immediately if they wish to join the lawsuit against these four dealerships and potentially more throughout Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
About éclat Law, PA:
éclat Law is an innovative law firm dedicated to delivering client-focused solutions in the practice areas of civil rights and employment law, complex litigation, business law, and entertainment and arts. Founded by Kevin Ross-Andino in 2015, the éclat team of experienced attorneys and staff is passionate about serving the needs of clients both in and out of the courtroom.