In many situations in the workplace, it seems that the employer has all the power. When your boss tells you the job description or your classification as an employee might be changing, there seems like little you can do. In some cases, employers will even give their employees the simple choice: Either accept the new contract or find another job.
But what if the changes your employer makes are a violation of your rights? What if these changes are actually illegal? Employees throughout the country need to know that their rights are protected from the exploitation, wage-theft and misclassification from their employers.
According a recent article in PR Newswire, The Labor Commissioner’s Office is suing Calcrete Construction, Inc., for misclassification and wage-theft. The lawsuit, seeking damages of more than $6 million, claims the company misclassified and denied overtime wages to hundreds of employees.
Allegedly, Calcrete forced its workers to sign contracts saying they were independent contractors. If they didn’t sign, they would be fired. Since independent contractors do not enjoy nearly the same rights or legal protections as employees, this misclassification denied the workers overtime pay, workers’ compensation coverage and other important benefits.
Further, the lawsuit alleges that Calcrete workers were on the job nearly 60 hours a week, and the company did not pay them the overtime. Normally, overtime kicks in for any hours worked more than 40 during a given week.
If this lawsuit results in a victory for the plaintiffs, it could result in compensation for those harmed by Calcrete and it sends a message to employers throughout the country.
As an employee on your own, it can seem like there is no recourse or help in a situation like this. If your employer forces you to sign a contract like this or refuses to pay you overtime, you cannot fight this battle alone.
You need the help of an experienced legal team, and if others have suffered from the same mistreatment at your workplace, you could be part of a class action suit, adding the power of numbers. Talk with an attorney right away if your rights have been violated at work.