Eleven more join class action against RMJM as litigation snowballs
Another eleven former RMJM staff have joined a class action lawsuit against the struggling practice
New court papers seen by the AJ (see attached) show that five new causes of action have also been added to the initial complaint, made by ex-senior HR manager Dana Byrne last November (AJ 15.11 2012), which alleges ‘numerous unlawful employment practices’ by the AJ100 big hitter.
RMJM chairman Fraser Morrison has now been named among the defendants, alongside chief executive Peter Morrison, commercial directors Declan Thompson and Richard Bailes, in the amended action lodged at the US District Court Southern District of New York last week (4 January 2013).
As well as the original claims covering the ‘unlawful failure to pay minimum wage… unlawful wage deductions’ and the ‘fraudulent concealment’ of the cancellation of the group term life insurance policy (see below), the new papers also cite ‘unjust enrichment’ and ERIAS violations - breaches of the federal law which sets minimum standards for pension plans for private companies in the US.
The new plaintiffs are Gale LaCava, John Conroy, Paul Cresti, Annette Ilagan, Roger Klein, Kevin McCausland, Steve Mylenski, Jamie Palazzolo, Sean Roche, Sal Tomasiello and Brian Wong who all worked at RMJM’s New York office at 275 Seventh Avenue.
Meanwhile it is understood creditors of RMJM Ltd, RMJM London Ltd and RMJM Scotland Ltd, which went into administration last October (see AJ 26.10.2012) will not get any of their money back. The dissolved companies were acquired by the new RMJM European Division.
RMJM refused to comment on the court proceedings.
The plaintiffs are represented by David E Gottlieb at the New York-based firm Thompson Wigdor.
Previous story (AJ 15.11.2012)
RMJM faces lawsuit over unpaid US wages
Former senior HR manager Dana Byrne has launched a class action lawsuit against RMJM, its separate divisions and its directors
According to the complaint lodged with the district court in New York, ‘hundreds’ of RMJM employees have suffered ‘substantial damage’ due to the AJ100 big hitter’s ‘numerous unlawful employment practices’.
The class action, lodged by Byrne ‘on behalf of all similarly situated employees who elect to opt in’, claims the practice had intentionally withheld and continued to withhold earned wages from its employees.
The document, filed last week, also alleges that due to RMJM’s failure to pay its premiums, the workforce lost its life insurance cover. Byrne contends there was ‘fraudulent concealment’ of the cancellation of the group term life insurance policy.
The legal papers allege damages are owed for ‘unlawful failure to pay minimum wage… unlawful wage deductions… failure to furnish accurate wage statements and failure to make wage payments with the requisite frequency.’
The litigation comes just three months after RMJM was served with eviction papers and left its former New York office at 275 Seventh Avenue (see AJ 29.08.12).
A few weeks ago the global giant appointed KPMG as receivers of RMJM Ltd, RMJM London Ltd and RMJM Scotland Ltd with ‘contracts in these companies acquired by the new RMJM European Division’. RMJM refused to comment.
Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week
Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library
Are you a student?
Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students