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A defunct Ohio company must pay $1.47 million in back wages and damages after misclassifying approximately 250 cable installers as independent contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. A federal court had ruled the workers were employees of Cascom Inc., of Fairfield, Ohio, and not independent contractors.
Cascom was found liable for $737,133 in back wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages for the total of approximately $1.47 million, according to the Department of Labor. Cascom is now defunct, so the department said it will also try to collect damages from the company's owner, Julia Gress.
Cascom contracted with Time-Warner Cable to install cable in residences in Southwestern Ohio, and hired cable installers to do the installations. According to court records, Cascom hired each installer for an indefinite period of time and prohibited them from hiring their own employees without Cascom approval. The installers were paid per installation performed, not hourly, and could work additional hours to increase their incomes.
“The findings in this case bring justice to workers and their families by providing them with their rightfully earned wages,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Cascom's business model also hurt law-abiding employers, who were undercut by this illegal practice. The Labor Department is committed to ensuring compliance to protect middle-class workers and to level the playing field for responsible employers.”