CWS 3.0: June 5, 2013

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Drill Rig Firm Pays $687,469 in Misclassification Case

A drilling rig firm in Houston and a mechanical contractor on an Amazon.com project in Tennessee are two new cases where companies paid overtime back wages as a result of misclassification of employees as independent contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division reported Monday.

Oil drilling rig provider Honghua America LLC paid $687,469 in back wages after misclassifying 133 roughnecks and crane operators in Houston as independent contractors, the Wage and Hour Division reported. The company paid workers straight time for hours worked over 40 in a week, and employees worked as many as 80 hours per week at the company’s site in Houston.

“The department is committed to remedying employee misclassification, which is a problem we commonly come across in the oil and gas industry,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Southwest region.

Separately, Rogers Mechanical Contractors Inc. paid 23 employees $33,535 in back wages for improperly classifying them as independent contractors in a project to construct an Amazon.com Inc. warehouse in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Wage and Hour Division reported.

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