A janitorial company in Anaheim, California is the target of a lawsuit alleging payroll fraud. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the contractor One Source Facility Solutions, a subsidiary of a Pennsylvania-based company called USM, is an “unscrupulous company” whose business model is based on hiring subcontractors to serve their clients. Luckily for the more than 80 retailers that contracted with this company, it insulates them from being named in the lawsuits themselves.
Sadly, janitors often find themselves as the target of unscrupulous employment tactics. In this case, One Source was paying its workers per job. In other words, certain jobs were paid at a fixed rate. Waxing floors was paid one rate, while general cleaning would be paid another. In the end, the workers for One Source were taking home around $400 a month.
Workers Forced to Recruit their Own Subcontractors
One Source told its employees that some of the jobs required two people to complete, but they did not provide a second person for the job. The employee was expected to provide the other person and then split the money.
In other words, One Source expected their laborers to themselves hire laborers in order to complete tasks. This effectively turned their employees into employers for the purpose of insulating them further from liability and paying half the rate they would normally have to pay to complete the job. The partner recruited for the purpose of completing this task was not placed on company payroll.
Litigating This Kind of Lawsuit
In order to successfully pursue an action against a company like One Source, lawyers, either for the state or for private entities, would need to prove that the employees of the company were misclassified as independent contractors. Unlike independent contractors, employees are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, workers compensation, and a right to sue employers for discrimination.
Clearly, One Source opted to misclassify their employees as contractors. A suit against the company would seek to prove that One Source’s workers more closely fit the legal definition of employees rather than independent contractors.
Misclassification Lawsuits Prove Common in the US
Misclassifications suits are one of the most common forms of employment violations in the United States. Unscrupulous employers will seek to blur the lines between who constitutes an independent contractor and an employee for the sake of underpaying or denying employee benefits. Meanwhile, Nevada has clarified the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor for the purpose of ensuring that Nevada workers are being paid appropriately.
Roughly speaking, the distinction lies in how much control a worker has over the means, manner, and time in which the work is completed. For instance, a contractor can dictate a timeframe for the completion of a project, establish the pay rate at which they will be compensated, and define the manner in which a job will be done. Employees, on the other hand, are called into work between a set number of hours, accept a rate as dictated by a company or employer, and are trained in how to complete the task.
If you believe that your employer has misclassified you for the purpose of denying you employee benefits, HKM Employment Law of Las Vegas can help you file your claim and seek damages. Give us a call at 702.625.3893 and we will begin discussing your case right away.