ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Iraq contractor L3 Communications refused to pay 33 native civilians who helped the U.S. military fight terrorism, the Iraqis claim in Federal Court.
L3 was contracted to supply the military with Iraqi-born civilians who would help U.S. soldiers and Marines combat insurgents in Iraq and Kuwait, the lawsuit claims.
The Iraqis say they worked around the clock “for upwards of a year or more, at times continuously.”
“[P]laintiffs were confined to their living areas, could not wander off post or off base at will, and were literally ‘on the job’ 24 hours every day, 7 days a week,” the lawsuit states.
“Virtually every minute of every day while plaintiffs were in Iraq, their lives were controlled by the defendants.”
The Iraqis admit to having signed papers stating that they were exempt from overtime pay, but said the contract was “a fraud and a sham and oppressive.”
They argue that the uniqueness and sensitivity of their jobs entitle them to labor protections.
They demand actual and punitive damages for L3’s alleged failure to pay regular and overtime wages, conversion and fraud.
The complaint was filed by Michael Green with Margolis Pritzker of Towson, Md.