EDISON, NJ — Edison resident, Nikunj Patel, is suing Becton Dickinson and several of its Information Technology (IT) contractors for the payment of two year’s salary as well as 4,500 overtime hours that he worked between December 2016 and January 2019. His employment there began in 2008.
Christopher J. Keating of Keefe Law Firm recently filed a civil complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex Vicinage. This lawsuit is one of the first pertaining to changes to the New Jersey Wage and Hour laws, which went into effect earlier this year.
The defendants include Saicon Consultants, Inc.; EZ Pass, Inc. (no relation to EZPass) DBA Saicon Consultants, Ramesh S. Lokre; Swati K. Yelmar, Shirish R. Shah, Capgemini American, Inc., Richard Plessner, Becton Dickinson and Company; ABC Corporations 1-10; and/or John Does (identities are not yet known).
The Plaintiff, Patel, is an IT professional who contracted with Saicon and EZ Pass to be paid $80 per hour for his services. Overtime pay is time and a half, which is $120 per hour for the hours he logged in addition to his regular work hours.
According to Keating, the changes in the Wage and Hour laws could result in “the Defendants paying 200% of wages owed as well as attorney fees.”
Some of the contractors are based in other states and are not registered as New Jersey businesses. Saicon is registered in Kansas and operating as a foreign corporation in New Jersey, in violation of New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) 14A:1-1, et seq.
The civil complaint states that Saicon was also “never licensed to act as a temporary employment or staffing agency in accordance with the Private Employment Agency Act.” EZ Pass is based in Kansas as well, so it’s considered a foreign corporation.
Lokre, the co-founder and CEO of Saicon and the owner of EZ Pass, signed Patel’s contract. Lokre and Yelmar, co-founder and President of Saicon, are both named in the civil case as being “actively engaged in creating politics and making executive decisions that violated the wage and hour laws and wage payment laws for the State of New Jersey.”
The civil suit mentions that Shah, COO of Saicon, “actively designed and implemented management decisions and policies that violated the wage and hour laws and wage payment laws” of New Jersey.
Defendant Capgemini America is registered in New York only and not in New Jersey, making it a foreign corporation. Richard Plessner, Director of Capgemini is located in Bloomfield. Becton Dickinson is located in Franklin Lakes, so they are considered domestic companies.
Becton Dickinson classified Patel as an employee or misclassified him as an independent contractor throughout the years he was employed by them. Each time a new contractor used Patel, he was considered to be employed through the new contractor and signed a new contract.
When Patel confronted the contractors about the wages owed to him, he was instructed to redo his timesheets and resubmit them. Patel was told he would be paid for 1,700 hours. Keating pointed out that once a company tells an employee that they will be receiving payment it’s considered “admission.”
Keating is demanding “judgment against the Defendants, jointly and/or severally, for all available damages by law or equity together with interest, costs, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and such other relief as the Court may deem appropriate.”
Keating explained, “New Jersey does not tolerate the exploitation of its workers. Our client is a family man who worked hard for thousands of hours to support his family and he received no payment for his services. Not a penny.”
He continued, “Patel deserves to be paid his wages and to be treated with dignity and respect. Our firm will use all wage laws and employee protection statutes to secure justice for our client. We will make sure the defendants learn that exploiting their workers is not only immoral, it’s also a terrible business decision.”
TAPinto Edison was unable to reach Capgemini for comment.