Suit says St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce denied 3 workers overtime pay

Three former employees of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce are suing the organization, claiming they were not paid time-and-a-half for overtime work, which would violate federal law.

Deborah Naughton, Rachel Orth and Sue Cooper-Street were all membership development representatives until the end of September. In the suit they allege they were regularly asked to work more than 40 hours a week and not paid 1.5 times their regular wage for the extra hours worked. They are suing for more than $15,000 in damages.

"We will not comment on ongoing litigation other than to say we are confident the outcome will show the chamber did not violate any law," said Chris Steinocher, chamber president and chief executive officer.

This isn't the first bump in the road for the chamber in the past 12 months. John T. Long III retired in July before his contract was up for renewal, facing growing member dissatisfaction. With about 2,000 members, the St. Petersburg chamber is one of the largest in Tampa Bay, but that membership is dropping during tough economic times.

Steinocher, who was the No. 2 executive at the Tampa Bay Partnership, came aboard with the chamber in January.

Last month the chamber cut five of 12 staff positions to reduce expenses and reorganize. In November it cut its staff from 17 to 12.

Suit says St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce denied 3 workers overtime pay 04/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 2, 2011 5:31am]

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