NORWALK, Conn. —A pair of Norwalk Public Schools employees allege that NPS has systematically committed wage theft on them and hundreds of their colleagues.
Hope Coles and Sadiya Deirish have filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Norwalk and NPS, in Stamford Superior Court. Coles, an administrative secretary, and Deirish, an office assistant, claim that they have routinely worked more hours than they were paid for. Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr said Coles is a union president; both of the plaintiffs work in the same school and have not filed a grievance or alerted NPS of any irregularities, according to Spahr.
“One of the silliest, most specious suits I have seen,” Spahr wrote.
The lawsuit was filed Friday. NancyOnNorwalk was alerted to it by Ryan Daugherty, Managing Partner of Daugherty Law Group LLC, who represents the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs list 18 job NPS positions and promise to prove through the discovery process that “at least hundreds of individuals” have also been deprived of pay.
“Defendants have instructed the Administrative Secretaries of each school to monitor the hours worked by non-exempt employees, and then manually login to the Defendants’ time tracking software, NOVAtime, to change all of the employees’ timecards to reflect their ‘schedule’ instead of actual hours worked,” the complaint states.
It’s part of Coles’ job to input staff time and attendance into NOVAtime, the complaint states, issuing claims for unpaid wages.
“It must be noted that the Plaintiff Coles was making the payroll changes for both herself and the co-Plaintiff,” Spahr wrote.
Coles is Norwalk Federation of Education Personnel president, according to Spahr. Adding up her hours over the past year shows that she may have been shorted four hours, and Deirish was not shorted at all, Spahr said, explaining that the evidence shows occasions when they were paid for more hours than they worked.
“The plaintiffs are apparently not complaining about when hours were added to their paycheck,” Spahr wrote.
The complaint alleges a pattern of deception for two years.
NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams said NPS would not comment on litigation.
“After all this fanfare, Cole’s total losses are $200 for the year. Deirish had NO loss,” Spahr wrote. “It’s a bit sketchy when an attorney feels the need to publicize his own litigation. You wonder if the lawsuit is about a claim or about the attorney seeking publicity.”