NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Three workers who helped BP in its oil spill cleanup efforts after last year’s disaster accuse the oil giant in a federal lawsuit of denying them overtime pay and other benefits.

The suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans seeks a notice to allow others with similar complaints to join in the action.

The initial plaintiffs, Jon Brewer, Nathan Cohen and Quentin Doyle, say they were among tens of thousands of workers who were assigned to do cleanup work along the Gulf Coast following the April 20, 2010, disaster off Louisiana.

They say BP and The Response Group LLC, a Cypress, Texas, business, misclassified them as independent contractors and denied them overtime.

The plaintiffs seek back pay, damages and attorneys’ fees.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.