A Plano cable TV installation company must pay $270,696 in back overtime to 114 workers it incorrectly classified as independent contractors instead of employees. Integral Development Solutions LLC will make the payments under the terms of a settlement agreement after the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sued on the workers’ behalf.
The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division conducted an investigation in which it concluded that Integral had misclassified the employees as independent contractors. The company paid the workers on a piece-work basis—offering a flat rate for every cable installation they completed. But investigators determined that the installers should have been classified as, entitled to time-and-a-half their regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked.
The federal agency also claimed Integral Development Solutions failed to maintain accurate records of work hours and wages.
The case represents more than just a disagreement over bookkeeping, according to Cynthia Watson, the Wage and Hour Division’s Southwest regional administrator. “Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is no mere technical violation,” she said in a statement. “It is an evasive practice that causes hardworking Americans to lose out on wages they rightfully earned and places law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage they cannot afford.”
Final note: The Obama administration has made misclassification investigations a priority.