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Chicago Cable Installer Sues for Employee Misclassification

November 10, 2010

In recent employment news that our Chino Hills, California employment attorneys have been following, a Chicago cable installer is suing his company for allegedly engaging in employee misclassification, by classifying the man both as an employee and an independent contractor, for doing the same work.

Joe Marte was a cable installer foe Baker Installations, run by James H. Peno Installation Brokerage and SMS Communications. According to the Chicago Tribune, Marte was supposed to be an employee, but the company decided to change his status to an independent contractor, depriving him of overtime payment and employee benefits--even though he frequently worked over 40 hours a week.

Marte, who is now unemployed, claimed that he agreed to be classified as an independent contractor because he was in need of work. Marte stated that although he had a different classification, he was still doing the same job and was still treated like an employee, as he reported to the same set of supervisors in the same office, who dictated his exact hours and mandated that he attend meetings.

As our Santa Ana employment attorneys have discussed in a recent blog, employee misclassification is rampant in the workplace, with employers reclassifying their workers from "employees" to "independent contractors," often to reduce the cost of workers' compensation insurance, and to dodge payroll taxes, social security benefits, overtime compensation, unemployment or disability insurance, along with other wage and hour benefits like providing meal periods and rest breaks that came with workers who were previously classified as "employees."

Our Anaheim employment attorneys also reported in a recent blog, that fighting employment classification has been a major part of President Obama's pledge this year, with the Department of Labor (DOL), to crack down on employer violations, and enforce the federal wage and hour laws. The Chicago Tribune reports that the federal government is increasing the number of DOL investigators and auditors by around 36 percent, in order to strictly monitor and penalize employers across the country who don't adhere to the proper the classification of employees. The DOL projects that this would bring around $7 billion in revenue over the next ten years.

In the state of Illinois, the Employee Classification Act was passed on January 1, 2008, and since that date, the Illinois Department of Labor has reportedly discovered 3,400 violations and assessed employer penalties of around $1.3 million. The Illinois Employee Classification Act states the workers should be considered employees unless they pass specific tests that prove their classification as independent contractors.

Our employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC, in Orange County, California, are committed to representing individuals who have experienced employee misclassification, and other violations of California Labor Codes in Los Angeles County, Orange County and throughout Southern California. Contact us today, for a free consultation about your rights.

As Work Force Changes, Many Misclassified Workers Miss Out on Benefits, Chicago Tribune, October 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Illinois Department of Labor