Many cable and internet installation companies are intentionally violating the overtime laws and costing their workers thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime. These companies generally violate the Fair Labor Standards Act in one of two ways. Cable installation companies often misclassify their cable installers and technicians as “independent contractors” (sometimes called “1099 employees”) in order to avoid paying overtime to their workers.
However, simply because an employer labels its workers as independent contractors does not mean that they can avoid paying overtime. Instead, courts consider several important factors to determine whether a worker has been improperly classified as an independent contractor and thus should have been paid overtime. As a general matter, cable installers are generally not independent contractors, and must be paid overtime, regardless of their classification.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a district court had erred when it dismissed a lawsuit filed by several workers against a cable and internet installation company. See Michael Scantland et al. v. Jeffry Knight Inc. et al, case number 12-12614, (11th Cir. July 16, 2013). The plaintiffs said they were misclassified as independent contractors and thus were denied various benefits and protections they would have otherwise received, including overtime pay. The plaintiffs alleged that they worked well over 40 hours per week without overtime pay. Other unpaid overtime lawsuits are pending against cable and internet installation companies across the country.
Another way cable or internet companies violate the overtime laws is to pay their workers using a “piece rate” system. Although this compensation system may be legal if done properly, the company must still track all hours worked and pay overtime in addition to the piece rates when the technicians work forty or more hours in a work week. This includes work could be improperly not counted as hours worked (i.e. travel time from one job site to another, time spent at the office, time spent waiting between jobs, and work performed at home).
You may have a claim for unpaid overtime wages if you worked as a cable or internet installer or technician within the last three years and did not receive proper overtime pay. If you are a cable or internet installer or technician and you have not been paid time and a half for each and every hour worked above forty in a week, know your legal rights!
About the author. The Law Firm of Josh Borsellino represents workers to get them the overtime pay that they deserve. If you have questions about unpaid overtime, call me at 817.908.9861 or fill out our form for a free consultation. I accept unpaid overtime cases on a contingency basis, meaning that if I take your case, you pay me nothing unless there is a recovery.