Former paralegal at Houston law firm files FLSA suit

A former paralegal at the Mostyn Law Firm in Houston filed a complaint in federal court on Aug. 3 alleging the firm failed to pay her and others at an overtime rate when the firm “required and/or permitted” her and others to work more than 40 hours a week. In Sherri L. Davis v. Mostyn Law Firm P.C., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Davis seeks class-action status for the complaint. Davis alleges the firm violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when she was required to work more than 40 hours a week and the firm failed to compensate her at the “FLSA mandated time-and-a-half rate” for hours in excess of 40 a week.” She alleges, “Defendant’s method of paying Plaintiff in violation of the FLSA was willful and was not based on a good faith and reasonable belief that its conduct complied with the FLSA.” She also alleges that other current or former paralegals at the Mostyn Law Firm were not compensated for their overtime work. Davis seeks damages to recover unpaid overtime compensation for herself and class members, and alleges she and class members are entitled to an equal amount as liquidated damages under 29 U.S.C. §216(b). Davis’ attorney, Alex Mabry of the Mabry Law Firm in Houston, declines to estimate how much his client could be due in damages or the number of potential class members. He says Davis worked at the Mostyn Law Firm from June 2007 through early March 2009. Steve Mostyn, founder of the Mostyn Law Firm, says Davis’ allegations have “no merit.” He alleges the 38-lawyer firm paid Davis properly because she supervised paralegals and other personnel. He says most of the firm’s paralegals do not have supervisory duties, are paid on an hourly rate and would be eligible for overtime pay. “Even if they wanted to establish some type of class . . . there’s just no persons who fit that criteria,” Mostyn says.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys