The United States Department of Labor announced that it had recovered $330,57 for workers misclassified as independent contractors by a general contractor in North Carolina.
Investigation findings: Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division found the North Carolina general contractor misclassified its employees as independent contractors and paid straight-time rates for all hours worked. By doing so, ELJ Inc. failed to pay employees the additional half time rate of pay for overtime hours over 40 in a workweek, which violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements. The employer also failed to maintain accurate and complete records with employees’ Social Security numbers, addresses, rates of pay and total earnings.
Back Wages and Liquidated Damages Recovered: $330,367 for 20 workers.
Quote: “Employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors deny them overtime wages and may deny them state-required workers compensation and unemployment insurance protections,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The Wage and Hour Division is determined to hold employers accountable when they shortchange workers and gain an unfair competitive advantage. We suggest that employers review their pay practices to make sure their practices comply with the law, and to contact us with questions or concerns.”
Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements and a compliance assistance toolkit for the Construction Industry. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division representative in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free. Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.AgencyWage and Hour DivisionDateFebruary 28, 2023Release Number23-367-ATL