From The Virginian-Pilot, Scott Daugherty reports on a lawsuit by a worker who alleges he was improperly classified as an independent contractor and was not paid overtime. Scott writes:
According to the lawsuit, Noriega performed several different jobs for the nonprofit, but his primary duty was to respond to help desk tickets from other Operation Smile employees and associates working around the world.
The lawsuit claimed Noriega worked for Operation Smile from about August 2013 to November 2014 – first as an independent contractor and later as a full-time employee. He made the switch on Nov. 12, 2013, but the lawsuit said his job duties and schedule did not change.
The lawsuit said he worked from about 9:00 a.m. to midnight or even 2:00 a.m. five days a week, with only a single one-hour break. Later, the lawsuit said, he cut back his hours so he ended work between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The lawsuit said Noriega was a “non-exempt” employee and that other members of the IT staff received overtime.
Read the full story at Lawsuit: Ex-employee worked 75 hours a week for Operation Smile without overtime
This story is an excellent example of the risks of misclassifying a worker. It appears that he worked for a time without receiving overtime. After he finished working for this organziation (the reasons are not clear why), he alleged that he should have received overtime. The issue did not arise until AFTER the worker stopped working. Many times, workers will work as an independent contractor and then, after the work is complete, allege they should have been classified as an employee either for overtime or unemployment benefits. Companies should recognize that the problems with misclassifying a worker may not arise until well after the worker has stopped working for the company.