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Portilla v. Bridgehampton Stone, Inc.; and Bridgehampton Stone & Brick, Inc., Et al, Civil Case No.: 17-cv-2549(JMA)(AYS)

Brick LayerJudge grants Conditional Certification of Collective Action in the Eastern District of New York

Portilla v. Bridgehampton Stone, Inc.; and Bridgehampton Stone & Brick, Inc., and Daniel Messina, an individual, and Cesar Villansaca, an individual, Civil Case No.: 17-cv-2549(JMA)(AYS)

On April 28, 2017, Plaintiff Mr. Portilla, on behalf of himself and on behalf of all others similarly-situated, filed a collective action lawsuit against Bridgehampton Stone, Inc. (“BSI”), and Bridgehampton Stone & Brick, Inc. (“BSBI”), and Daniel Messina (“Messina”), an individual, and Cesar Villansaca (“Villansaca”), an individual, (together as “Defendants”), alleging debilitating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), and the New York Comp. Codes, Rules, and Regulations (“NYCCRR”), including the failure of Defendants to compensate Plaintiff for overtime provisions. The factual allegations of the case are as follows:

  • From at least six years prior to the commencement of this action until on or about July 26, 2016, Defendant BSI was engaged in the construction business, and provided its services to customers in Long Island and New York City;
  • During at least that period of time, Defendant Messina was the principal shareholder and day-to-day overseer of BSI, who in that capacity was responsible for determining employees’ rates and methods of pay and the hours that employees were required to work; 
  • Defendant Messina personally hired Plaintiff and all other BSI employees;
  • On or about July 26, 2016, Defendant Messina sold Defendant BSI’s construction business to Defendant Villansaca, who reincorporated the business as BSBI;
  • Defendant BSBI, as the successor entity of Defendant BSI, assumed liability for all debts, legal obligations and claims against Defendant BSI;
  • Defendants employed Plaintiff to work as a construction worker at BSI and BSBI, collectively, from in or about September 2011 to February 16, 2017;
  • Throughout his employment, Plaintiff’s duties mainly consisted of preparing and grading the sites of masonry work, laying cement, setting and mortaring bricks, stones, and similar materials, carrying materials and tools, and keeping work areas clean;
  • Throughout the entirety of his employment, first for BSI and continuing for BSBI, Plaintiff worked from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., five days per week, with a thirty-minute lunch break each day, for a total of fifty-two and one-half hours per week;
  • Throughout the entirety of his employment, first for BSI and continuing for BSBI, as reflected on his paystubs, Defendants paid Plaintiff an hourly rate of $17.00 for only the first forty hours that Plaintiff worked each week;
  • Throughout his entire employment, Defendants did not pay Plaintiff at any rate of pay, let alone his overtime rate of pay of $25.50 per hour, for any hours that he worked in excess of forty per week.

Straight-time rate is particularly important because when a non-exempt employee works over forty hours per week, the employer is required by law to pay the employee at 1.5x his/her straight-time rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of forty. The additional pay is called the overtime rate. By failing to compensate Plaintiff Portilla for these hours, Defendants violated rights guaranteed to Plaintiff by the overtime provisions of the FLSA, the NYLL, and the NYCCRR.

Finally, the NYLL requires that employers furnish employees with wage statements that accurately reflects the number of hours work on each week. However, on each occasion when Defendant paid Plaintiff, they failed to provide him with any wage statements, that accurately listed Plaintiff’s actual hours worked for that workweek or overtime rates of pay for all hours worked.

Certification of Collective Action

On March 12, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields, granted an order for conditional certification of a collective action against Bridgehampton Stone, Inc., and Bridgehampton Stone & Brick, Inc., and Daniel Messina, and Cesar Villansaca. Judge Shields authorized that a collective action notice be sent to current and former employees, who worked at any time from July 26, 2016 to the present as a non-managerial construction laborer. By filing the collective action notice, current and former employees will become part of the case and eligible to receive money damages if they were not paid properly as the Plaintiffs in this case allege.

If you or a person you know worked for the Defendants named in the lawsuit during the time period of July 26, 2016 - present or has information that may be relevant to this case, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. as soon as possible through one of our websites, www.employmentlawyernewyork.com, www.516abogado.com or any of our phone numbers: (516) 248-5550, (516) ABOGADO, and (212) 679-5000.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NOTICE AND OPT-IN FORM (ENGLISH)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NOTICE AND OPT-IN FORM (SPANISH)

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