$159,144 in Back Wages and Liquidated Damages to be Paid by Flooring Company for Misclassification of Employees

 
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
 
An Overland Park flooring company that misclassified installers as independent contractors will pay 22 workers a total of $159,144 – representing $79,572 in back wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages – after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation.

The division found Uni Floor Inc. violated overtime and recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act when it failed to pay installers overtime after treating them as independent contractors instead of employees. 

The investigation determined the flooring installers met the definition of employees, triggering overtime protections under the FLSA. The company violated the FLSA’s recordkeeping requirements when it failed to maintain time records for these employees. In this case, Uni Floor provided the equipment used by the workers, controlled their day-to-day schedules and paid them flat salaries. The employer also bid for all work and supervised job sites daily. 

A misclassified employee – with independent contractor or other non-employee status – loses minimum wage, overtime, workers compensation, unemployment insurance and other workplace protections. Employers often misclassify workers to reduce labor costs and avoid employment taxes. By not complying with the law, these employers have an unfair advantage over competitors who pay fair wages, taxes due, and ensure wage and other protections for their employees. These illegal practices lower standards for all workers, especially in highly competitive markets and industries where employers try to reduce overhead, often at the expense of their workers.
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