United States Department of Labor Obtains Order for Contractor to Pay Wages, Damages, and Penalties for Misclassifying Workers

The United States Department of Labor obtained a consent judgment that requires a Virginia concrete contractor to pay back wages, damages and penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

 
Village Concrete Inc. misclassified 29 employees as independent contractors

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in federal court that orders a Virginia concrete contractor to pay nearly $1.2 million in back wages, damages and penalties after its investigation found the employer misclassified 29 employees as independent contractors and failed to pay proper overtime to its employees.

The action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division of Village Concrete Inc., a Manassas employer that allegedly misclassified the affected employees as independent contractors. By doing so, the employer failed to pay required overtime rates for hourly, day-rate and salaried workers.

The division also found the company allegedly falsified records to make it appear they had paid workers overtime, wrongly categorized salaried employees as exempt from overtime and denied employees pay for distances traveled related to work. In addition, Village Concrete failed to keep accurate records of the hours employees worked and compensation the company paid them.

“Misclassification denies employees access to critical benefits and protections, such as overtime, minimum wage, family and medical leave and — in some cases — safe workplaces,” explained Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. “The Wage and Hour Division will continue to make combatting misclassification a priority to protect some of the nation’s most vulnerable workers and their families from the harm it causes.”

The consent judgment requires the employer to pay 81 employees $563,938 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, bars Village Concrete from future Fair Labor Standards Act violations and affirms civil money penalties of $67,473 the department assessed for the employer’s willful violations.

“The Solicitor’s Office uses all available tools to address the serious workplace problem of misclassification,” said Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda. “In this case, Village Concrete even tried to conceal its violations by falsifying records. We will use all legal tools available to us to hold employers accountable for deliberate and inexcusable attempts to obfuscate the facts, including civil monetary penalties.”

Village Concrete Inc. is a contractor serving residential and commercial customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. It also prohibits the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions, regardless of their immigration status. The division can speak with callers in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android and iOS Timesheet App for free, available in English and Spanish.

 

Su v. Village Concrete Commercial Inc., Agostinho Costa

 

Source: Department of Labor obtains judgment ordering contractor to pay nearly $1.2M in wages, damages, penalties for illegal employment practices | U.S. Department of Labor

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