A former employee of Sticker Mule LLC and Print Bear LLC has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the two mutually owned sticker-making companies violated state and federal labor laws by failing to pay overtime wages at the correct rate over a two-year period.
Tierra Bonefort filed the lawsuit through her attorneys on Oct. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
The lawsuit is seeking back pay, attorneys fees and class action status to allow approximately 40 former and current workers at Sticker Mule and Print Bear to join the lawsuit.
Bonefort alleges she did not receive adequate overtime pay in accordance with the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the New York Labor Law during the time period between Sept. 12, 2018, through Jan. 31, 2020, when she regularly worked more than 40 hours per week at Sticker Mule and Print Bear’s 49 Elk St. and 336 Forest Ave. locations.
The lawsuit states the two companies have three work shifts and provide a pay differential for the late and overnight shifts, but don’t include the shift pay increase when calculating overtime pay, which if true would be a violation of federal and state labor law.
“For example, from Aug. 19, 2019, through Aug. 24, 2019, Bonefort worked 47.56 hours,” reads the lawsuit. “All of her work for the week was done on the Second or Third Shift, which entitled her to shift differential pay. Her regular hourly rate was $14.15 and her shift differential was $1.70. Her overtime rate, however, was only paid at $21.23, which is one and one-half times her hourly rate. As a result, Plaintiff was not paid any overtime wages on her shift differential pay.”
The lawsuit states New York Labor Law requires employers to “furnish each employee with a statement with every payment of wages” that contains the employer’s “phone number” and the “basis” of the employee’s pay.
“Defendants’ pay stubs, however, failed to provide Class Members with the employers’ phone number and to list the Class Members’ basis of pay,” reads the lawsuit.
Sticker Mule and Print Bear are both owned by company CEO and founder Anthony Constantino.
Constantino made headlines and created viral internet traffic in December 2019 when he announced surprise $1,000 Christmas bonuses for all of his employees.
Bonefort would have been employed during the awarding of the Christmas bonuses, but they are not mentioned in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit makes no mention of how many overtime hours Bonefort alleges she was improperly paid, but the suit does ask the federal court to certify its class action status and allow notice to be given to other potential litigants of their right to join the lawsuit.
Bonefort is represented in the lawsuit by Kessler Matura P.C., of Melville, Suffolk County, and the Law Offices of Raphael A. Katri of Beverly Hills, California.