SOUTH BEND — A former Thor Motor Coach employee is suing the company, claiming she was not given all the pay she was owed.
In response, the company has asked that the lawsuit be thrown out because it says the payment system the employee describes is perfectly lawful.
The employee filed the lawsuit in federal district court in South Bend in May. The woman worked at Thor plants in Bristol and Elkhart between March 2015 and December 2017, when she resigned.
She includes potential collective action members in her lawsuit as well.
She says in her complaint that she regularly worked more than 40 hours a week but wasn’t paid all overtime compensation owed to her under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. She says she was paid overtime compensation of one-half of regular pay instead of one-and-a-half times pay.
The woman received piece rate pay, based on the number of units she completed. She also says she was paid for “productive time,” which was time spent performing the work, but not for “non-productive time,” which was time spent waiting for units to work on.
And she claims that Thor took unlawful wage deductions from employees’ pay checks for the cost of tools they’re required to buy.
In a motion to dismiss filed July 3, lawyers for the company say the piece-rate pay system Thor uses reflects overall productivity and is fully compliant with the FLSA. They also say the overtime pay in such a system is set at an additional one-half the regular rate.
They say the woman was aware of how Thor pays its piece-rate workers, and that an agreement over pay didn’t need to be explicit because it could be inferred.
The attorneys also point out that the former employee doesn’t identify a single work week when she says she was improperly paid.
“Her allegations must do more than present the sketchy possibility that she was underpaid; they must give sufficient detail to show that a legal violation is plausible,” the motion states. “This level of generality has doomed other similar complaints.”
The motion asks that the lawsuit be dismissed or that the court strike the class and collective class allegations from it.