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Former Eiteljorg director suing museum for overtime pay

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A former merchandising director of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is suing the downtown Indianapolis museum for allegedly failing to pay her for working more than 1,000 hours of overtime.

Judy McElfresh, who lives in Plainfield, filed the lawsuit in Marion Superior Court, claiming the Eiteljorg violated the Fair Labor Standards and Equal Pay acts.

Besides not being compensated for overtime, McElfresh charges in her complaint that the museum paid her less than male employees earned for similar work.

“Judy contends that she was not paid commensurate as other males in director positions,” said her attorney, Mark Waterfill, with the Indianapolis office of Cleveland-based law firm Benesch.

McElfresh is seeking at least $75,000 in damages from a jury.

She claims in her suit that the museum should not have considered her an overtime-exempt employee because she primarily helped customers and stocked shelves at the gift shop.

Instead of being paid for overtime, the Eiteljorg compensated her with “comp” and “flex” time, McElfresh alleges.

The 1,025 hours of overtime McElfresh claims she worked without being paid equates to more than two dozen 40-hour work weeks.

McElfresh is seeking compensation of “time and-one-half” her regular hourly rate. She worked as director of merchandising for four years before being terminated in May of this year.

A spokesman for the museum said it doesn’t comment on personnel issues.

Also named as defendants in the suit are John Vanausdall, president and CEO of the museum; Martha Hill, vice president of programming and visitor experience; and Susan Lewis, vice president of administration and chief financial officer.

McElfresh filed her suit Aug. 15.
 

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