TYLER, Texas — A group of welders employed by Nabors Industries Inc. of Houston filed suit against their employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The plaintiffs are suing their employer on behalf of a putative class and are seeking liquidated and punitive damages. The class includes individuals who worked for Nabors within the three years before the suit was filed. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were hourly, non-exempt employees who regularly worked more than 40 hours weekly without being compensated for overtime pay at the standard one and one-half times their regular rate.
The plaintiffs alleged that Nabors intentionally misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees in a willful attempt to evade FLSA’s requirements. Misclassification is an increasing phenomenon, and it results in employees not receiving important protections such as minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
According to Department of Labor (DOL) guidance, FLSA’s definition of “employ” guides the determination of whether workers are employees or independent contractors. Because FLSA defines “employ” broadly, which means that most workers are employees under FLSA. When making this determination, a list of economic factors should be considered to determine whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer (and is therefore an employee) or is really in business for him or herself (and thus is an independent contractor). The factors should guide employers in making the final determination of economic dependence or independence.
The plaintiffs also claim that Nabors failed to post the required FLSA employee notices. Each employer of covered employees is required to post, and keep posted, a notice explaining FLSA in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it. The content of the notice is prescribed by DOL. Failure to post may subject employers to monetary penalties. Additionally, failure to post may lead a court to extend the two-year time period within which employees may bring FLSA claims in court because employees may argue that they were not given adequate notice of their rights.
Misclassification can deprive individuals of lawfully-deserved minimum wage and overtime pay protections. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor by your employer. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.