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Lawyer: Security guards’ labor claims not covered by FLSA

By Bryan Manabat
bryan@mvariety.com
Variety News Staff
ISLAND Protective Services has asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by 14 security guards, arguing that their labor claims against the company are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.


The plaintiffs accused the company of paying them below U.S. minimum wage rate, not paying overtime dues, and making them pay the recruitment cost.
Island Protective Services or IPS, which is owned by Md. Nurul Islam Bhuiyan, is represented by attorney Janet King.
King said IPS is a small business entity that does not earn gross revenue in excess of $500,000 per annum and does not engage in commerce. Therefore, she added, the plaintiffs’ claims are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Represented by attorney Mun Su Park, the plaintiffs are Shomon Ullah Monshi, Syful Islam, Nasir Uddin, Mohammed M. Billah, Addullah Al Mamun, Abdullah Al Mahamud, Md. Rabi Ullah, Maksudur Rahman, Amir Rasool, Hemayet Hossen, Md. Shahidul Islam, Billal Hossen Sarkar, Khirul Basher and Md. Solaiman.
Their lawsuit alleged violations of the minimum wage and overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and fraud.
King said the court should dismiss the lawsuit because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
According to the lawsuit, Bhuiyan compensated the 14 security guards for their work for only $3.50 an hour and $4 per hour after May 2017. The local rate was $6.55 an hour as of Sept. 2016 and $7.05 as of Sept 2017. It will reach the federal rate of $7.25 an hour in Sept. 2018.
The plaintiffs also alleged that Bhuiyan required them to cover the cost of their immigration petition filing fees, and fraudulently promised them that he would file a petition for green cards after they arrived on Saipan.
They said they paid recruitment processing fees amounting to a total of $130,262 plus their airfare.
They said when they expressed their grievance over violations of labor laws, they suffered discriminatory treatments from Bhuiyan including physical abuse, insulting comments and disparate treatment concerning terms and conditions of work.
They said Bhuiyan also retaliated against them by reducing their working hours, withholding wages, reducing their pay, harassing them and making comments intended to intimidate them from proceeding with this lawsuit.
They also alleged that Bhuiyan threatened their family members in Bangladesh.