By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Power company National Grid was
hit by a lawsuit this week by employees claiming the company
owes overtime pay for work they performed in the wake of
The suit was filed in Brooklyn federal court by a union
representing National Grid workers in Brooklyn and Queens, who
say they have been working 12- to 16-hour shifts for six or
seven days a week to restore natural gas services to customers
affected by the storm.
The workers say that despite working 60 to 80-hour weeks,
they have been paid for standard 40-hour weeks at regular pay
A United States unit of UK-based National Grid PLC supplies
natural gas to residents of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and
Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island.
The suit, filed on Thursday and seeks class action status,
seeks an unspecified amount in damages and back pay under the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Under that act, if it is found
that National Grid failed to pay the proper wage the plaintiffs
could recover double damages.
In a statement, National Grid spokeswoman Karen Young said
the company had recently experienced a problem with its
automated payroll system that affected a subset of National Grid
employees. The company is working to resolve the issue and is
working quickly to address the payroll problems and all
employees affected would be "made whole as soon as possible."
The plaintiffs' attorney, Arthur Schwartz, said they would
still pursue their suit against the company.
Sandy hit New York on October 29, bringing hurricane-force
winds that wreaked havoc in the tri-state area and left
thousands of residents without power and natural gas, in some
cases for days or weeks.
National Grid said it is continuing around-the-clock efforts
to repair portions of its natural gas system that were damaged
or destroyed by the storm.
The case is Conigliaro et al. v. National Grid, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, No.
For the plaintiffs: Arthur Schwartz.
For National Grid: not known.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook