The US Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Wage and Hour Division found that General Interior Systems violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by misclassifying more than 300 employees working as drywall installers as independent contractors and failing to pay them overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. The agency obtained a judgment in a US District Court that required payment of $380,000 in back wages to the affected employees.
The affected employees worked throughout central New York and the Northeast, putting in as many as 60 to 70 hours per week and were paid only straight time for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. The defendants are paying the back wages covering a three-year period. The Wage and Hour Division will distribute the wages to the employees.
Under the FLSA, employers are required to distinguish employees from bona fide independent contractors. Whether an individual is an employee under the FLSA is a legal question determined by the actual employment relationship, not by title. A number of factors including the amount of control over the individual by the employer are evaluated to determine if the relationship is of an employee/employer or of a client/customer and independent contractor.
For more information about these factors, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs13.htm.