LINCOLN COUNTY-- Lincoln County employees say they're being cheated out of wages. Tuesday, they filled a million dollar class action lawsuit against the county.
Local Attorney Nick Kovarik is representing the Lincoln County workers and says, "This is the first time the government has blatantly violated Washington’s minimum wage law."
Kovarik says the rock crushers pick-up work vehicles at the county shed in Davenport, then drive to quarries miles away. The drive time is excluded from their hourly wage. "An hour and ten a day that they're not getting paid for."
Workers do get a monthly payment of 150 dollars for travel time but it doesn't add up to what they'd make hourly. Kovarik calls it blatantly illegal. "The government cannot use cheating workers out of their wages to make up for budget shortfalls. There are other ways to do it than make these hard working citizens not got paid minimum wage and not get paid overtime frankly it's ridiculous."
The claim is for $500,000 in missed wages, but it doubles to around a million when the damages and attorneys fees are included.
We contacted the public works director and county commissioners about the suit. They declined to comment until they had more time to read the complaint.