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Employment

Caliper Building Solutions, LLC/JMC Contracting, LLC

Padilla et. al. v. Caliper Building Solutions, LLC, JMC Contracting, LLC and José Merino
Case No. 0:20-cv-00658 (District of Minnesota)

On March 4, 2020, a construction worker started a putative collective and class action lawsuit against Caliper Building Systems, LLC (“Caliper”), JMC Contracting, LLC, and José Merino (“Defendants”) to recover unpaid overtime compensation. 

According to its website, Caliper functions as a subcontractor providing installed material packages for commercial, multifamily, and military construction projects throughout the Midwest and Western United States. Its scope of work includes framing, siding and trim, and roofing. According to the Complaint, Caliper contracts with labor brokers to staff construction projects with labor. Caliper pays workers through these brokers, one of which is JMC Contracting, LLC. 

The Complaint alleges that Defendants did not pay laborers a time-and-a-half overtime premium when they worked overtime hours as required by law. Instead, they paid them a straight hourly rate for their time worked.   

The case is filed as a putative collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and a class action under Minnesota state law, on behalf of all hourly-paid laborers who worked for Caliper Building Systems through JMC Contracting and/or José Merino, within the past three years. The case seeks to recover for the workers unpaid overtime compensation and liquidated (double) damages.

In order to make a claim in this case for your unpaid overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, you can complete an electronic consent form (English) or (Spanish).

Type of Case

Unpaid Overtime Wages

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Am I eligible?

You are eligible to make a claim in this case if you worked for Caliper through JMC Contracting and/or José Merino as an hourly laborer at any time within the past three years and were not paid an overtime premium of 1.5 times your hourly rate when you worked overtime hours over 40 in a workweek.

Additional Information

Is This a Class Action? What Does that Mean?

This case is both a potential nationwide collective action under federal law and a potential class action under Minnesota state law. This means that, depending on the type of claim you have there may be a slightly different process for joining and participating. See below for more details on this process.

Though the process and terminology may differ slightly, the idea behind both class and collective actions is the same: it allows one of more people to sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. In order to proceed as a group though, the Court must certify the class and collective. Because we are in the early stages of the case, this has not happened yet, but we intend to file the motions at the appropriate time asking the Court to grant these certifications.

Which Locations Are Included?

This case seeks to include all hourly workers who work or have worked for Caliper through JMC Contracting and/or Jose Merino within the past three years.

How Do I Join This Case?

Federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime after 40 hours in a workweek. In order to make a claim in this case for your unpaid overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, you can complete an electronic consent form (English) or (Spanish) and return it to our office.

Minnesota state law requires employers to pay overtime after 48 hours in a workweek. If the Court certifies this case as a class action under Minnesota state law, all hourly workers who worked in Minnesota over 48 hours per week within the past three years will be automatically included, unless they choose to opt-out.

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

There is a federal time limit, called a statute of limitations, that allows workers from all states to recover unpaid overtime wages within two years of the worker signing up to join the lawsuit by completing and returning the consent form referenced above. If we can prove that Caliper, JMC Contracting, and/or Jose Merino willfully violated the law, the statute of limitations may be extended to three years. The statute of limitations for Minnesota state law claims is similar.

Do I Have To Pay Anything?

You do not have to pay anything if you make a claim in this case. We are handling the case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through settlement, award, or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement, award, or final judgment.

How Do I Prove I Worked Overtime?

If you have records of the hours you worked, please preserve and keep them until we ask you for them. However, you do not need to have records of your work hours to make a claim for your overtime pay. If a company did not keep accurate time records, most courts will permit you to estimate your work hours. Through this lawsuit, we will seek any records Caliper, JMC, and/or José Merino may have of your hours worked as well.

What About Retaliation?

It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against a person for making a claim to reclaim unpaid wages. If you believe you may be the victim of retaliation for joining or participating in this case, contact the case clerk, Julia McGuire, at (612) 256-3267 or jmcguire@nka.com.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The length of this kind of case varies, but these cases typically last one to three years.

Is There Money Available Now?

No. This is a pending lawsuit. There is no money currently available and there is no guarantee that you will receive money for making a claim.

How Can I Help?

If you know anyone that performed work for Caliper through JMC and/or José Merino that is interested in making a claim for unpaid overtime, please direct them to the case clerk, Julia McGuire, at (612) 256-3267 or jmcguire@nka.com. You can also direct them here to sign up electronically. There is strength in numbers.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case, feel free to contact the case clerk, Julia McGuire, at (612) 256-3267 or jmcguire@nka.com.  If you speak Spanish, she can connect you with one of our Spanish speaking clerks to answer your questions.

Case Updates

  • March 6, 2020

    Caliper Building Solutions, LLC and JMC Contracting, LLC Sued for Paying Workers Straight Time Only and No Overtime Pay

    On March 4, 2020, a construction worker initiated a putative collective and class action lawsuit against Caliper Building Systems, LLC (“Caliper”), JMC Contracting, LLC, and José Merino (“Defendants”) to recover unpaid overtime compensation. 

    According to its website, Caliper functions as a subcontractor providing installed material packages for commercial, multifamily, and military construction projects throughout the Midwest and Western United States. Its scope of work includes framing, siding and trim, and roofing. According to the Complaint, Caliper contracts with labor brokers to staff construction projects with labor. Caliper pays workers through these brokers, one of which is JMC Contracting, LLC. 

    The Complaint alleges that Defendants did not pay laborers a time-and-a-half overtime premium when they worked overtime hours as required by law. Instead, they paid them a straight hourly rate for their time worked.   

    The case is filed as a putative collective action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and a class action under Minnesota state law, on behalf of all hourly-paid laborers who worked for Caliper Building Systems through JMC Contracting and/or José Merino, within the past three years. The case seeks to recover for the workers unpaid overtime compensation and liquidated (double) damages.

    Michele Fisher, a partner with Nichols Kaster, PLLP representing the workers, explained, “there is a serious problem in the construction industry with companies that try to outsource their responsibility for compliance with fair pay laws. This is not only unfair to the workers but is also unfair to the responsible contractors being undercut by low bids from companies that skirt the worker protection laws. We aim to hold them accountable for the wages owed to these workers. This practice was brought to our attention by the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, a union dedicated to protecting and elevating the economic and social condition of workers.”

    The workers are represented by Michele R. Fisher and Jay E. Eidsness of Nichols Kaster, PLLP, which has offices in Minnesota and California.  The case is, Padilla et al. v. Caliper Building Systems, LLC, JMC Contracting, LLC, and José Merino, Case No. 0:20-cv-00658 (District of Minnesota).  

    Additional information about the case and how workers can make a claim can be found at www.nka.com or by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (612) 256-3200.

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