Davenport University accused of not paying overtime

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Three Davenport University employees have filed a federal lawsuit against the university and Benjamin Nelson, transportation director and their supervisor.

Michael Cooke, Frederick Jones and Lee Coulet are all coach drivers for the university.

The suit alleges DU and Nelson violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, the Michigan minimum wage law and violated the plaintiffs’ contracts by not paying them time-and-a-half overtime worked in excess of 40 hours and by altering their time sheets to reflect a lesser number of hours than they actually worked.

The university imposed a restriction to a maximum of 15 hours of pay on travel days and eight hours of pay on overnight days which the university referred to as the eight and 15 hour limit, according to the suit, regardless of the actual number of hours worked.

The plaintiffs would submit manual time sheets to Nelson with the actual number of hours worked, Nelson would allegedly change the hours entered into the university’s time tracking system. The plaintiff’s’ paychecks would show a maximum of fifteen hours on travel days and eight hours on overnight days, according to documents filed in federal court Tuesday.

The suit asks for unpaid wages and damages in an unspecified amount.

The employees also allege the alteration of their time sheets had a detrimental effect on their individual retirement plans because the defendants failed to compensate them for all hours worked and contributions to the plan are based on actual wages earned. The university failed to contribute accordingly to the plaintiffs’ retirement plans, according to the suit.