Former Employee Sues SeaTac Company, Alleges Employer Didn't Pay $15 Min. Wage

Mar 26, 2014

One of the 13 workers who filed complaints with the city of SeaTac alleging their employer was illegally failing to pay the new $15-an-hour minimum wage has now filed a lawsuit against the company. 

Lou Lehman worked part-time for Extra Car until she lost her job earlier this month. She was one of five workers who were terminated by the company after they lodged the complaints. Lehman previously told KPLU that instead of paying workers the voter-approved minimum wage of $15, Extra Car gave them a 32-cent raise at the beginning of the year. Many of the workers, including Lehman, were instead paid $10.32 an hour.

SeaTac voters narrowly approved the $15-an-hour minimum wage last November. It applies to large hotels and parking lot companies. It was also intended to cover airport ground crew workers, such as baggage handlers and airplane cabin cleaners, but a judge ruled that the city doesn't have jurisdiction over the Port of Seattle, which runs the airport. 

Parking lot companies in SeaTac with more than 100 parking spaces and more than 25 non-managerial employees are supposed to comply with the new wage law

Michael Vergillo, owner of Extra Car Airport Parking, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Earlier this week, he said three of the employees were terminated for safety reasons or for violating company policy, and two were let go because they were part-timers who didn't want to work full time. 

Lehman is seeking class-action status for her lawsuit, which was filed in King County Superior Court.