Nearly 550 people join overtime pay class-action suit against Fuyao

So far 548 workers and former workers have joined a class-action lawsuit over wages and scheduling against one of the Miami Valley’s fastest growing manufacturers, Fuyao Glass America.

The federal lawsuit has 548 class members and the deadline to join the suit is June 6, said attorney Bob DeRose, who works with the Columbus law firm suing Fuyao, a Moraine manufacturer of automobile and after-market glass.

DeRose could not say how many of the participants are current Fuyao employees, but he said the class does include current workers.

The suit was first filed in Dayton’s federal court last June by a former Fuyao employee, Julia Staggs. Staggs alleged that she worked overtime at Fuyao without being paid time-and-a-half wages. She also contends she and others were not completely relieved of duties during unpaid meal breaks and more.

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The lawsuit also charged that during the Thanksgiving 2016 holiday weekend, Fuyao “promised” to pay Staggs and about 100 other employees time-and-one-half wages for all hours worked that weekend, as an enticement to get those employees to work extra hours.

Instead, the employees received $50 gift cards, the suit claimed.

In February, a federal judge granted class-action status to group of plaintiffs gathering behind the lawsuit.

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DeRose said that to his knowledge, Fuyao has done nothing to discourage current workers from being involved.

“The company hasn’t done anything negative to our knowledge but they haven’t assisted us,” DeRose said. “An average response rate (to class-action suits) is between 10-15 percent, and we are at 13.7 percent, with a couple of weeks remaining, so we are happy. I would love to see 20 percent.”

He added: “The response has been steady, the natural flow is that it is at its highest at the beginning and toward the end.”

Attorneys representing Fuyao did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Fuyao has about 2,300 workers at its plant off West Stroop Road and Ohio 741.

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