A drywall contractor in Louisiana has paid $178,766 in back wages to 108 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and failing to pay overtime wages. The payment came after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The investigation found that Gomez Drywall Contractors, which primarily worked with framing and dry wall, violated FLSA overtime requirements when the employer misclassified workers as independent contractors and subsequently failed to pay them overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Construction workers are often misclassified as independent contractors in an effort by employers to avoid paying them overtime wages. While it is common for employers to hire and label workers as independent contractors, this does not automatically mean that the workers are not “employees” eligible for overtime pay. If the company maintains control of the manner and means of the worker’s job, that worker should typically be classified as an employee and paid overtime. Under the FLSA and local labor laws, employees should be paid at a rate of time-and-a-half (1.5x their regular hourly rate) for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.
“Violations like those found in this case are common in this industry, and are avoidable,” said a representative from the Department of Labor. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they’ve earned and that employers compete on a level playing field.”
If you are a construction worker and have any questions about your overtime pay, please call the attorneys at Pechman Law Group at the number 212-583-9500 for a free consultation.