Misclassified Independent Contractors Sue for $8M In Unpaid OT

Misclassified independent contractors for a Utah alcohol control agency have alleged they are owed significant wages. In a recently filed collective action lawsuit, these workers claimed that the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control failed to correctly compensate them for overtime hours worked. The collectiveaction lawsuit was filed by 13 former and current workers in federal court and is seeking $8 million in damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

According to the filed complaint, these workers or package agents should have been considered employees of the company but were instead misclassified independent contractors. The agency holds an extensive amount of control over these workers which under the FLSA would also require them to be paidhourly and for overtime when working over 40 hours per work week as well as benefits. For example, the department fully dictated their schedules, set forth their work duties and guidelines, and set prices for the liquor they sold. The extent of control that the agency had over the package agents should havegiven them employee status with right to overtime pay. The package agents attest they consistently worked over 40 hours per week and seek to represent all current and former package agents who were not paid one and a half their regular rates of pay for their overtime in the past three years. 

Misclassified independent contractors are unfortunately a common violation in numerous industries. If you’re an independent contractor and have been told you aren’t entitled toovertime or benefits, it is important you make sure that the amount of control the company has on your day to day isn’t enough to consider you an employee under the FLSA.Companies have been known to take advantage of these worker classifications in order to save on overtime costs as well as employee benefits. Our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, offers a free and confidential consultation to better understand if you may be in a misclassified position and owed potential wages. You can reach us at (212)300-0375 or you can visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your rights.