Peery v. Nixon Engineering,llc

Western District of Texas, txwd-6:2018-cv-00358

Exhibit Decl. of A. Neal

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Exhibit 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS WACO DIVISION JAYME PEERY, § Individually and on behalf of all others § similarly situated § Civil Action No. 6:2018-cv-00358-AA § § Plaintiff, § JURY TRIAL DEMANDED § v. § COLLECTIVE ACTION § PURSUANT TO 29 U.S.C. §216(b) NIXON ENGINEERING, LLC, § § CLASS ACTION PURSUANT TO Defendant. § FED. R. CIV. P. 23(b) DECLARATION OF ASHTON NEAL I, Ashton Neal, being of sound mind and over the age of 18, make the following declaration: 1. My name is Ashton Neal and the facts contained in this declaration are within my personal knowledge and are true and correct. 2. I worked for Nixon Engineering, LLC ("Nixon" or "Defendant") as a non-exempt Crew Lead, TMA Driver, and Flagger, out of Madison and Walker Counties, Texas. I was employed by Nixon from approximately August of 2017 until March of 2018. 3. Regardless of whether I worked as a Crew Leader, TMA Driver, or Flagger my job duties remained the same. My core job duties for each position were to perform a pre-route vehicle inspections, ensure we had all our tools and equipment before heading to the work site, ride in or drive the company truck to the work site, help set up road cones and strips, set up the truck mounted attenuator, and assist in flagging and controlling road traffic at the job site. Declaration of A. Neal Page 1 4. During the time I worked for Nixon, I typically worked twelve (12) hours a day. I worked approximately sixty (60) hours per week, if not more, but I was only paid for approximately forty (40) hours of work. 5. I was required, as part of my employment with Nixon, to work overtime hours and did work overtime hours on a regular basis. 6. I know from my own personal observations and from speaking with my coworkers, that they were also required to work overtime hours on a regular basis. 7. Nixon required my entire crew of about five (5) people to meet at the Motel 6 in Madisonville, Texas. Nixon required my coworkers and I to be at the hotel by 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. Once we arrived at the motel, we would perform a ten (10) to fifteen (15) minute vehicle inspection. We would check the vehicle's fluids, tires, and ensure we had all of our equipment needed for the day. 8. After completing the vehicle inspection, we all rode in the truck together to the Texas Department of Transportation ("TX DoT") office that was nearest to the worksite. Our worksites were in various parts of Texas. Depending on where the worksite was, our drive to the Texas DoT office could take anywhere from thirty (30) minutes to two hours. 9. Only after arriving at the TX DoT office and checking in with TX DoT would my coworkers and I be clocked in. We never clocked ourselves in. Nixon would only pay my coworkers and I for the hours TX DoT reported to them. The pre-trip vehicle inspection and the drive from the hotel to the TX DoT office were always performed "off-the-clock." 10. After checking in at the TX DoT office, my coworkers and I would load back onto the truck and drive to the traffic control project. A traffic control project is an area of road-way under construction that needs traffic controllers–-my coworkers and I–-to manage traffic so that the construction crews are safe. Declaration of A. Neal Page 2 11. Around 4:30 p.m., or even later, the TX DoT employees would tell my coworkers and I to clean up, pick up the traffic cones and other equipment, and that we were done for the day. TX DoT would give us twenty (20) minutes to clean up and then they would clock us out, that is they would write in the report they would submit to Nixon that we had finished work at that time. We rarely, if ever, finished cleaning up in twenty (20) minutes. Most of the time, it would take us forty (40) minutes to an hour to clean up, depending on how big the traffic control project was. 12. Even though TX DoT had clocked us out, Nixon required us to finish cleaning up "off-the-clock." My coworkers and I, who were on-site together, told other Nixon representatives at the office that we rarely finished clean-up in twenty (20) minutes. We told Nixon that we should be paid for all the time it took to clean up, but they would tell us that we were not going to be paid for any time other than what TX DoT reported and that we should just try to clean up faster. 13. Once my coworkers and I finished cleaning up, we would drive back to the motel we met up at earlier that morning. Once we arrived, per Nixon's requirements, we would refuel the truck, check its fluids, and make sure all of our equipment was properly secured so that none of it would be stolen during the night. Only after performing these duties would our Nixon Supervisor release us for the day. As a Crew Leader, I would have to stay later to drop off equipment or return trucks to the yard. I performed those additional duties "on-the-clock." 14. I regularly talked to my Supervisor and to Nixon itself that I thought it was unfair that my coworkers and I were not paid for the time we spent: inspecting the vehicle in the morning, driving to the TX DoT office, all the time required to pick up the equipment, the drive back to the motel, and the time it took to perform the post-route inspection and re-fuel. We would also change out equipment from the truck and not be paid for the travel time or work hours that it took to perform those duties. Whenever we told Nixon about this unpaid work, they would always just tell us that its non- compensable time and that we were not going to be paid for it. Declaration of A. Neal Page 3 15. I know from my own personal observations and from talking with my coworkers that they performed the same or similar work as me, worked a similar schedule as me, and were paid for similar hours as me. That is, they were only paid for the hours TX DoT wrote down and not for the actual number of hours worked, if we were paid at all for those hours. 16. Throughout my employment with Nixon, I was paid an hourly wage. Specifically, I was paid $13.64 per hour. 17. Although I regularly worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week, Nixon did not pay me for all of my overtime hours worked. 18. I know from speaking with my coworkers, that they were also paid an hourly wage and that they too were not paid the correct amount of overtime. I know that Nixon was aware of all the "off-the-clock" work my coworkers and I performed because the Nixon Supervisor would personally observe us and order us to work "off-the-clock" and because I would report the "off-the-clock" work to Nixon. 19. Nixon subjected my coworkers and me to the same or substantially similar policies, discussed above. 20. Based on my conversations with other hourly Nixon employees, I know that they would be interested to learn that they may recover unpaid overtime from Nixon and that they would want to opt-in to this lawsuit. 21. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Jun 3, 2019 Executed on: _______________________ Ashton Neal Ashton Neal (Jun 3, 2019) ASHTON NEAL Declaration of A. Neal Page 4