Employees working on the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle have filed lawsuits alleging they are forced to work overtime without compensation.
Two lawsuits against WECTEC Contractors and Fluor Enterprises were originally filed in August in Burke County Superior Court. They were transferred to U.S. District Court on Monday.
The lawsuits seek class action status for all other similarly situated employees.
According to recent reports in The Augusta Chronicle, more than 6,000 employees were expected to be working on the project this summer. The work is three years behind schedule and more than 56 percent over budget at $9 billion.
The plaintiffs, welding superintendents and QC inspectors, contend they regularly work more than 40 hours a week but are not paid time and half for overtime or not paid for overtime at all.
The lawsuit contends the employees are expected to attend uncompensated pre- and post-shift meetings called “professional time” by supervisors.
The plaintiffs allege their employers have violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, unjustly enriched themselves and breached contracts, entitling the plaintiffs to additional pay, interest, attorney fees and court costs.
When fully operational, the two reactors under construction will produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 500,000 homes, according to a report this summer.
Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of Plant Vogtle, with the rest owned by Oglethorpe Power Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the City of Dalton Utilities.