CWS 3.0: April 18, 2012

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Contingent Workers Settle Wage and Hour Suit

A settlement has been reached in a wage and hour lawsuit by contingent workers against PrO Unlimited and staffing client Juniper Networks Holdings International Inc., a computer networking firm, according to court documents. The workers claimed they did not receive overtime for working more than eight hours a day.

The workers signed employment agreements with PrO and Juniper stating that they were classified as exempt from overtime and were required to track daily work in eight-hour increments, according to the lawsuit. However, the lawsuit argued plaintiffs regularly worked more than eight hours per day.

PrO Unlimited was not able to comment on the case.

The court was notified of the settlement last month, but the suit was first filed in July 2011. It sought to represent all contingent employees who worked at both PrO and Juniper in California.

Named defendants in the lawsuit include Michael Lazarin, who worked as a recruiter from March 2008 to November 2009; Stephen Kohler, who worked as a senior staffing manager from October 2008 through October 2009; and Paul Capano, who worked as a recruiter from August 2008 through January 2010. All three worked at a Juniper location in Sunnyvale, Calif.

“Staffing firms should audit both federal and state law wage and hour compensation compliance,” according to the August 2011 issue of Legs & Regs Advisor, which discussed the case shortly after it had been filed, warning staffing clients and staffing firms that it is common to see both clients and providers of temporary staffing both identified as defendants in these cases.

“Audit the work actually being done by contracted workers, and do not just rely upon contract agreements or staffing contract descriptions to evaluate whether a worker may be deemed exempt,” the Legs & Regs Advisor counseled. “There are often many roadblocks to successfully arguing the exempt status of any worker provided through a staffing firm.”

The Legs & Regs Advisor is published by Staffing Industry Analysts in conjunction with employment law firm Littler Mendelson, and is available to Staffing Industry Analysts’ members.

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