Two former paramedics for the Great Divide Ambulance Service (GDAS) have filed a federal lawsuit alleging GDAS and four different Wisconsin Townships failed to pay overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The pair claim the Townships of Drummond, Cable, Grand View, and Namakagon, Wisconsin created GDAS as a “joint venture” to provide emergency medical services to the residents of the various townships.
The two paramedics allege they regularly worked more than forty hours per week and were not paid any overtime. They are seeking back wages for the past three years, liquidated damages, attorney’s costs, and fees. The complaint also seeks to add additional unknown putative class members to the suit. Putative class members are other past and present employees of GDAS that may also be owed back overtime wages.
It is common in these types of FLSA actions for one or two individuals to file the initial complaint and request the court allow additional similarly-situated individuals the opportunity to joint. These cases often begin with one or two initial plaintiffs and end with dozens or even hundreds of eventual plaintiffs.
The complaint does present one rather common fact pattern. Both plaintiffs are former employees. . . Meaning they both departed their jobs prior to filing the suit. Paramedic Wooley worked for GDAS from August 2015 to November 2017. Paramedic Lopez worked for GDAS from November 2015 to March 2018. The complaint was filed only a few short months following Lopez’s departure. This is what we refer to as a good-bye kiss often delivered by recently departed employees.
This complaint can serve as an important reminder for employees to remain vigilant regarding FLSA compliance. An FLSA lawsuit is one good-bye kiss nobody wants!
Here is a copy of the paramedics’ complaint.