Employees fired by Birmingham Water Works Board sue to get their

Employees fired by Birmingham Water Works Board sue to get their jobs back

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Birmingham Water Works Board building. Source: WBRC video Birmingham Water Works Board building. Source: WBRC video
The nine BWWB employees fired in August have filed a lawsuit seeking their jobs back, plus punitive damages. Source: WBRC video The nine BWWB employees fired in August have filed a lawsuit seeking their jobs back, plus punitive damages. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

We have new information tonight in the ongoing investigation into alleged overtime fraud at the Birmingham Water Works Board.

Fox 6 News has learned nine employees who were fired by the Water Works in August in the midst of a criminal investigation have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to get their jobs back.

The federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday, September 9 gives a lot more insight into what was allegedly going on at the Water Works Board from about March until late July as well as what led to an ongoing criminal probe.

The lawsuit filed by nine former employees who were fired in August alleges that a supervisor at the Water Works Board turned in doctored timesheets on behalf of the nine employees.

[Read the entire lawsuit here.]

The timesheets showed these employees worked more overtime than they actually did.

The lawsuit says the supervisor would then demand the employees kick back part of that extra money to him by putting cash in a white envelope stuffed in the door of a Water Works Board utility truck.

The former employees say they told the supervisor they wanted no part of this, but he told them no one would believe them if they spoke out about the scheme, and he would have them all fired if they did.

The lawsuit also alleges that the supervisor had employees park a truck in front of a hydrant for several hours on a weekend to fool the company's GPS-tracking device. It also claims that the supervisor solicited money from employees for his daughter's cheerleading team, Avon lotion his child was selling, and his house allegedly burning down more than once.

The lawsuit says several of the employees tried to alert some of the people in management above their supervisor, but those supervisors either did nothing about it, or said they would take the supervisor's word when he said these were clerical errors.

One employee says when he told the supervisor in July that he wanted no part of this, the supervisor punished him by forcing him to work alone in a deep ditch during a driving rainstorm.

The employees say they finally banded together and told another supervisor who took this to Water Works general manager Mac Underwood's office.

These now ex-employees say Underwood told the workers if they told the truth, they wouldn't lose their jobs.

They say Underwood and other officials interviewed them one by one without an attorney present, then took them to Birmingham Police headquarters for more interviews.

The employees were fired shortly after and now want their jobs back, plus punitive damages.

Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls is investigating the case as a criminal matter.

BWWB spokesperson Binnie Myles says the company cannot comment on the lawsuit until they are actually served the lawsuit.

Check back with this story for updates.

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