Volume 2, Number 1 - AUG. 1, 2011

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Monique Madan
Monique Madan
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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against College

By Monique Madan
Monique.madan001@mymdc.net

Alix Jean Joseph says Miami Dade College owes him.


“I’ve been working here for eleven years and have been given no breaks,” said Joseph a night-shift public safety officer at the Wolfson Campus.


Joseph is one of three current or former night-shift public safety officers at the Wolfson Campus— Abraham Charles and Wy’Ketdra Hutchison are the others— who claim they were not paid for 30 minute meal breaks over several years.


As a result, they say, their hourly pay was less than minimum wage.


The trio filed a class action lawsuit against MDC despite each being hand-delivered checks on June 3 to pay for the time they were owed, according to their attorney Richard Bennett.


In Joseph’s case, he rejected a check for $3,393.61.


“The plaintiffs returned the checks because they want to make sure everyone under their same circumstances gets paid,” Bennett said. “There is a possibility of other present and former part-time employees that might be in the same boat that we might not know about.”


According to College Attorney Carmen Dominguez, the College abstains from commenting on whether or not  the College’s Human Resources department is researching whether or not other employees will be affected by this motion.


The College’s Part Time Employee Guidelines for Non-Instructional Personnel provides in part:

“The College practice is to provide part time non instructional employees with an unpaid meal break of no less than thirty minutes no later than after four (4) continuous hours of work, and can be scheduled at any time before.”

 

MDC’s Part Time Employee Guidelines for Non-Instructional Personnel states that “The College practice is to provide part-time non instructional employees with an unpaid meal break of no less than thirty minutes...”

The three are non-instructional employees of the College and are non-exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the complaint file.

They seek to recover unpaid wages and attorney fees.

“My clients work eight hours, yet are only paid for seven and a half,” Bennett said. “They have complained several times before, but they were still not given their 30 minute break because of short-staffing issues.”

The College filed to move the case from state to federal court on July 12.

On July 19, plaintiffs filed a motion to return the case to state court.

“It’s a state law matter, not a federal law matter,” Bennett said.

The next court date is currently pending.

“Unfortunately I am not permitted to discuss anything of ongoing litigation,” said York Flik, attorney representing MDC.

 


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.