Celine Dion Sued for Screwing Employees Out of Overtime

6/28/2012 12:01 AM PDT

Celine Dion -- Sued for Screwing Employees Out of Overtime

Celine Dion and her husband are a couple o' tight wads when it comes to compensating employees at their massive Florida compound ... according to a new federal lawsuit filed by their ex-handyman.

TMZ obtained a copy of the suit filed by Keith Sturtevant Wednesday -- and in it he claims he was hired in March 2009 as a "warehouse manager" ... but says he also regularly worked at Celine and Rene Angelil's giant home in Hobe Sound, Florida.

According to the suit, Sturtevant fixed ice makers, cleaned house shutters, built stages, and ran miscellaneous errands for Celine and Rene -- and although he had a "manager" title ... Sturtevant claims he "did not have the power to hire or fire employees."

The suit alleges Celine and Rene "improperly and illegally designated [Sturtevant] as an exempt employee" -- allowing them to avoid paying the overtime ... which Sturtevant claims he's owed since he regularly worked more than 40 hours per week.

Sturtevant's suit claims Celine and Rene improperly slapped the "exempt employee" label on several other employees too. He's suing for all his back overtime wages.

We've reached out to Celine's reps for comment, but so far ... no reply.

Celine Dion

Disgruntled Ex-Employee

Turned Down $10k Severance

Celine Dion
says the ex-employee who's suing her got more than enough cash to cover his alleged overtime -- and she says he turned down a $10,000 payout when he was fired.

TMZ broke the story, Keith Sturtevant -- a former "warehouse manager" for Celine and her husband -- filed a federal lawsuit ... claiming he was never paid overtime even though he regularly worked more than 40 hours per week during his 3 plus years of service.

But a rep for Celine tells TMZ, Sturtevant was "paid a handsome yearly salary that covered overtime for his services for three years."

In his lawsuit, Sturtevant says he originally made about $50,000 per year -- but eventually got a raise to $63,000 per year.

The rep also claims Sturtevant turned down a very handsome severance package -- vacation pay plus $10k -- when he was fired last month.

We're told Sturtevant got the boot due to poor performance.

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