ORLANDO — Almost 40 current and former chauffeurs for luxury coach service Mears Transportation recently filed a class action unpaid overtime lawsuit against the defendant, alleging the company engaged in systematic wage theft and broke numerous state and federal labor laws. The Orlando, Florida-based company is one of the oldest and largest area transportation companies, known for shuttling celebrities and VIPs to and from their destinations across the state.
The unpaid overtime lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claims Mears classifies luxury chauffeur drivers as independent contractors even though these employees work under the same oversight as hourly company employees. The plaintiffs claim to have undergone the same background checks and interviews as prospective drivers and even underwent the same training and instruction as other drivers employed full time by the company.
Calling the defendant’s business practices “a scheme to avoid paying minimum and overtime wages, employment taxes, and certain ordinary business expenses,” the complaint seeks federal class action status to possibly allow other similarly affected drivers to recover their own lost wages. Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim many of the drivers struggle to earn a living, despite routinely working anywhere from 70 to 100 hours per week.
Independent Contractor Pay Laws
Under federal wage and labor laws, independent contractors must exercise control over how they perform their duties and generally must provide their own tools or means to perform the job needed. Often times, companies claim workers as independent contractors but exercise far too much control over how and when employees work on the job.
In these situations, workers should consult the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 20 factor independent contractor test to see if they qualify as overtime exempt under the law. It is important to note that independent contractors need not comply with every single item on the list but the guidelines give a general idea of which specific provisions independent contractors need to conform to in order to be considered independent contractors under the law.
Chauffeur Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that y your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.