O’Brien Law Firm files a class overtime pay lawsuit against Canal Barge Company, Inc. for shore tankermen

On April 8, 2021, the O’Brien Law Firm filed a lawsuit in a Houston federal court on behalf of four former shore tankermen for Canal Barge, which is based out of New Orleans, but which provides barge and dock services at ports along the Louisiana and Texas coasts. The suit is also filed as a “collective action” under the federal overtime law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA). A “collective action” under the FLSA is like a class action, except that the potential participants have to choose to opt in (as opposed to opt out) to join the lawsuit after receiving notice from the court about the opportunity to do so.

The lawsuit alleges that the shore tankermen were required to prepare 15-60 minutes, or more, of invoices and job reports at home after each shift, off the clock, and weren’t compensated for that time with overtime pay when they were over 40 hours for the week. Furthermore, until mid-2019, as alleged, the company would not pay the shore tankermen for anywhere from approximately 30-60 minutes of work time for each shift as they transitioned into and out of their shifts. The lawsuit is now in place to help all of these shore tankermen recover money, including double the unpaid overtime provided for under the law, for the time they have spent working to help Canal Barge be successful. The O’Brien Law Firm roughly estimates that it believes each shore tankerman may be entitled to between $10K-$20K for back overtime wages, plus likely doubling by the court. That case is Tilley et al. v. Canal Barge Company, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:21-cv-01150 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

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