VERNON >> Entergy has agreed to pay four security specialists at its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant more than $500,000 in back pay for overtime hours they worked. In addition, Entergy agreed to pay $372,000 to the attorneys of the employees.
David Banford, Scott McGratty, Robert Miller and Gary Stratton, brought the suit against Entergy in 2012. Since 2009, they had worked as Entergy employees as security shift supervisors.
In September 2014, a jury concluded Entergy had willfully violated the law when it refused to pay overtime to the four men. According to Steve Robinson, of Diamond & Robinson, located in Montpelier, all employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week, unless Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee or any other employer can demonstrate that the specific job duties fall under narrowly defined exceptions to the law.
"Collectively, Mr. Banford, Mr. McGratty, and Mr. Miller, and Mr. Stratton have worked more than 5,500 hours without being paid overtime by Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee," Robinson said in 2014.
Entergy attorneys argued that the four security supervisors were exempt salaried positions and therefore did not qualify for overtime pay. However, said Joshua Diamond, the plaintiffs' attorneys were able to prove to the jury that the four men did not meet all the federal threshholds that characterized them as supervisors who did not qualify for overtime pay as executive or administrative employees.
"An executive employee has to do something more than watch over subordinates," Diamond told the Reformer in 2014. "They have to be able to exercise independent decision making and have the authority to hire and fire."
In a stipulated judgment order released on Friday by the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, Judge William Sessions noted Entergy has 21 days to issue the checks to the four men and their attorneys.
Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.