Misclassification of employees as independent contractors led to overtime violations
OLIVER SPRINGS, TN – Fifty workers misclassified as independent contractors by an Oliver Springs home health care service provider received a total of $358,675 in back wages to resolve overtime violations found in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Servant’s Quest – which provides at-home healthcare services for the ill or elderly – violated Fair Labor Standards Act requirements by failing to pay overtime to caregivers that the employer misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees. The employer then paid the misclassified workers straight-time wages for the hours they worked in excess of 40 in a workweek, under the pretense as independent contractors, overtime rules didn’t apply to these workers.
“The misclassification of employees as independent contractors cheats workers out of wages and benefits they are entitled to under the law, hurts other employers who play by the rules, and subsequently hurts our economy,” said Acting Wage and Hour Division District Director Kenneth Stripling in Nashville, Tennessee. “These essential employees worked long hours without receiving overtime compensation. This is illegal and unacceptable, particularly amid a pandemic when they put themselves at risk to help others. The Wage and Hour Division is pursuing corrective action vigorously in those situations when workers are, in fact, employees to ensure that they receive every penny of their hard-earned wages.”
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and use its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.AgencyWage and Hour DivisionDateApril 20, 2021Release Number21-578-ATL
From the United States Department of Labor: