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Drilling Employees Paid $70K After DOL Attacks Employers For Misclassification

September 12, 2011

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) employee misclassification is an alarming employment trend, especially in industries that often hire low-wage workers who are vulnerable to wage violations in the workplace.

As our Costa Mesa labor attorneys reported in a previous Anaheim employment lawyers blog, employment misclassification is a serious threat to employees who are legally entitled to jobs that pay fairly and are safe, as well as to honest employers who follow the federal labor and employment rules and regulations.

When employees are misclassified as independent contractors, they are often deprived of minimum wages and overtime compensation and forced to pay the taxes that employers are legally obligated to pay under law. When employers engage in employee misclassification it gives them an unfair business advantage against honest employers who are willing to play by the rules and follow wage and hour laws and regulations.

The DOL has recently recovered $70,701 in back wages for employees of Latshaw Drilling Company, after an employee misclassification investigation found that 34 sandblasters and painters were misclassified as independent contractors and were therefore denied overtime compensation for all hours worked--a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employees, who regularly worked up to 72 hours per week, were reportedly paid "straight time" wages for all hours worked beyond forty in a work week, instead of time and one-half their regular pay rate, which is required under the overtime requirements of the FLSA.

According to FLSA law, covered employees must receive at least the FLSA minimum wage requirement of $7.25 per hour and receive overtime compensation of one and one-half times the regular compensation rate for any time worked over forty hours in week of work, including any incentive pay, or commissions and bonuses. The act also requires employers to maintain payroll and time records that are accurate.

Latshaw Drilling specializes in drilling petroleum wells and manufacturing rigs and drilling equipment. The company has reportedly paid all back wages due and has agreed to comply with the FLSA laws and regulations in the future, by making sure that employees are properly compensated for their full work periods.

If you have been misclassified and have experienced violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or California Labor Codes violations in Orange County, California, contact Howard Law, PC today to discuss your California labor and employment rights. Call today for a free consultation at 1-800-872-5925.

US Labor Department recovers more than $70,000 in back wages for 34 employees of Tulsa, Okla.-based Latshaw Drilling, U.S. Department of Labor Press Release, September 8, 2011

Related Web Resources:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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

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