Rodrigues v. Belfor USA Group Inc.
Rodrigues v. Belfor USA Group Inc., was brought by representative plaintiffs on behalf of potentially thousands of workers employed by Belfor USA Group, Inc., a major natural disaster reconstruction firm, and its subcontractors. Restoring key public services to the city and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, including Tulane Hospital and Tulane University, these workers often worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day to remove mold, mud, and other toxic contamination from the flooded buildings.
The lawsuit alleged Belfor jointly employed the workers and unlawfully used a subcontractor system to avoid paying any overtime wages to workers on its massive reconstruction projects. Plaintiffs settled the case with Belfor, who agreed to pay all unpaid overtime wages plus additional penalties, to certify the collective action and a one-year opt-in period, and to change certain business practices to ensure all workers on future Belfor projects are paid according to the FLSA.