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independent contractors 7 articles

Fair Labor Standards Act: Wage Theft in the Retail Sales Industry

The Fraud List: Fair Labor Edition

This is the ninth installment in The Fraud List: Fair Labor Series Obviously, it would be illegal for an employer to reach into an employee’s pocket and take $20. Yet, it seems some businesses think it’s fine to alter their worker’s earnings so that they keep more money for themselves. In both cases, it’s stealing, and in both cases, it’s illegal. Wage theft can take many forms and even be difficult for an employee to notice. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee is guaranteed a minimum wage, which may vary depending on location and employer, and ... Read More

FedEx settles FLSA class action for misclassified California drivers

FedEx Ground Package System Inc. has agreed to settle a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action affecting more than 2,000 misclassified FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery pickup and delivery drivers in California. According to Forbes, FedEx will be resolving the claims made, some dating all the way back to 2000, by means of a $228 million fund. The FedEx settlement came to fruition following a 2014 Ninth Circuit ruling that the company was actively misclassifying its drivers as “independent contractors” in order to avoid granting its employees fair compensation and benefits. The FedEx drivers responsible for bringing the ... Read More

California maid company fined for ignoring 2007 ruling

Violating the rules of employment set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act can be an expensive way to do business. In August of 2007, a federal judge in the U.S. Central District Court for California in Santa Ana ordered Southern California Maid Services Inc. to pay nearly $3.5 million in back wages and another $1 million in liquidated damages to 385 of its employees. The court ruled that by improperly classifying their workers as independent contractors, Sergio Maldonado and Lorenza Rubio, the company owners, avoided paying minimum wage and overtime, which the FLSA requires. Then, last week, after finding ... Read More

Will the great recession mean more FLSA lawsuits?

An attorney representing a healthcare worker who is suing his employer for denied overtime says that lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act may become more common during the economic recession. The plaintiff alleges that his employer, Delta-T Group and Delta-T Group Social Service Staffing, Inc. denied him overtime compensation by wrongly classifying him as an independent contractor. Because he is not appropriately classified as an employee of the company, the plaintiff cannot receive the same benefits that regular employees of the company received. “As corporate budgets continue to tighten, more employers are looking to classify workers as independent ... Read More

Woman crusades against epidemic of wage theft

Kim Bobo believes that employers in the United States are stealing from their workers. Not just nickels and dimes and not just in isolated incidents. She claims that the theft is rampant — that it has become a “national crisis at this moment in our nation” to the tune of $19 billion per year in unpaid overtime alone. Bobo is the founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, an organization that appeals to the shared convictions of all religions in protecting the rights of the everyday worker, especially low-wage workers. Bobo alleges that in meat processing plants, retail businesses, ... Read More

Obama bill seeks to clarify contractor employee classification

A bill introduced to the U.S. Senate on Sept. 12, 2007, by Sen. Barack Obama, S.2044, commonly called the Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007, would amend the Revenue Act of 1978. Goals of the bill are to require employers to treat workers misclassified as independent contractors as employees. According to the bill’s summary, the proper classification of these workers would ensure they are treated correctly in relation to employment tax purposes upon a determination of misclassification by the Secretary of the Treasury; repeal the ban on Treasury regulations or revenue rulings on employee/independent contractor classifications; and eliminate the ... Read More

They pitch sales in their pajamas

At one moment, Jeanine Brown is selling Ronco knives. Five minutes later, she’s answering questions about the secrets of getting rich from real estate foreclosures. Brown is an agent for LiveOps, a company based in Palo Alto, Calif., with a national network of 16,000 operators who work from home answering the phone for TV infomercials. Brown, who lives in Houston, works in her pajamas and never knows what she’ll be selling until the script pops up on her computer screen. “You have to learn to be relaxed,” Brown said. LiveOps is on a hiring spree, ramping up to handle all ... Read More