OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Employees who worked at an Oklahoma City mortuary claim they and dozens of their coworkers have never been paid overtime. The U.S. Department of Labor launched an investigation into the issue.
This became a federal case after several former employees who worked at Alpha and Omega Mortuary in Oklahoma City claimed the company owes them thousands of dollars for the hours they worked in overtime since the day they started. Since the investigation began, some have received their money, but others have not. Now, those affected are trying to get answers.
“I don’t have savings. I’m sorry, but without this check, I am going to lose my car like I don’t have any backup,” said Crystal Moeai, waiting on over $16,000 check from Alpha and Omega Mortuary.
Former employee of Alpha and Omega Mortuary, Crystal Moeai, said the company owes her over $16,000 for overtime work.
“I was doing 60 to 80 hour weeks, 6 to 7 days, no days off. A lot of times the longest shift I did was 27 hours,” said Moeai.
Another former employee, Mark Monterroso, told KFOR the company owes him over $15,000 in overtime wages.
“I just want to get the stuff behind me. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of having to deal with the nonsense. I just want to get back to my life again,” said Monterroso.
With no help from people in control, Moeai took the issues to the US Department of Labor. She said those officials found the company owes several employees thousands of dollars for unpaid work.
“We’d be out for a couple of days, sometimes catch a nap here and there because you work overnight,” said Monterroso.
Moeai said they were told they would be paid in the beginning of September, but some are still waiting on their money.
According to former employees, employees with last names starting with A through L have been paid, but the rest are still waiting.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Monterroso.
KFOR reached out to Alpha and Omega Mortuary. CEO Linda Murphy did not want to go on camera but said it stems back to the former owner, Dan, who died in 2021. She blames him for the reason employees were not paid overtime.
“He operated under the assumption that he was covered under a transportation law,” said Linda Murphy, CEO of Alpha and Omega Mortuary.
However, Mark and Crystal say both the former owner, Dan, and current CEO, Linda Murphy, are to blame. Moeai said she never even worked under Dan and is supposed to receive a check for not being paid overtime. They say Murphy didn’t start paying overtime until she was caught by the U.S. Department of Labor.
“I believe that I paid overtime for anybody because we quit working overtime because business slowed down. So, I believe I have paid it… I’ve been paying overtime every year,” said Murphy.
Murphy said they are using Dan’s 401K to pay for the rest of the wages.
She says they’ve paid $230,000 so far.
“But you have to pay your penalty, which is the same amount. So, we didn’t really have $500,000 in the bank. We’re just a small company… It was really hard to come up with that money. But we’re doing it in to the best of our abilities,” said Murphy.
Murphy said she plans on getting the money to the rest of the employees by next week. KFOR will keep you updated on that.
We reached out to the U.S. Department of Labor for more information about the case but are we still waiting for their response.