Misclassification lawsuits generally involve the intentional classification of a laborer as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee. Since employees benefit from things like minimum wage and mandatory time and a half for overtime, companies that classify laborers as contractors can work around such restrictions. However, misclassification lawsuits can be filed when an employer underpays a worker for any reason. Wage theft lawsuits can and do fall under the banner of misclassification
The Communications Workers of America has accused General Dynamics Corp. of failing to pay its workers in accord with federal standards, despite the fact that employees of General Dynamics Corp are not members of the Communications Workers of America union. The CWA said that General Dynamics promoted workers into roles that required specialized training and then paid them below government established rates. In other words, they were doing specialized work without being paid specialized wages.
General Dynamics has responded by simply stating that their workers are not members of the CWA union. The union estimates that the company owes its workers in excess of $107 million in unpaid wages.
The Service Contract Act
While General Dynamics’ employees were correctly classified as employees, the Service Contract Act stipulates that the employees of federal contractors must be paid in accord with industry standards and the prevailing wages for given industries. Where General Dynamics went wrong was giving specific employees training in accord with higher paying positions, then neglecting to pay them in accord with those positions.
In this case, there have been several call centers that the U.S. government has contracted for work. The specialized training given to employees working for General Dynamics does, in fact, entitle them to be paid in accord with the title General Clerk II and General Clerk III. Workers who the U.S. government classifies under those titles are entitled to higher wages by federal law.
In 2017, the U.S. government paid General Dynamics over $15 billion to manage Medicare requests and handle information in regard to the Affordable Care Act making them the third highest paid government contractor in the country.
Federal Laws on Advanced Positions
General Dynamics violated the law regardless of whether or not their employees were members of the Communication Workers of America or not. The Service Contract Act details specifically how members of a federal contractor should be paid in accord with their skill and training. It is unfathomable that General Dynamics simply did not realize or forgot to pay their employees in accord with the act. It is far more likely that they misclassified them for the purpose of fattening their own coffers.
Most federal contractors are aware of the often cumbersome provisions of the Service Contract Act, but General Dynamics had call center employees answering complex medical questions for less than $11 an hour.
HKM Employment Law can Handle Your Misclassification Lawsuit
If you believe your employer has misclassified you for the purpose of paying you less money than you deserve, then you are entitled to collect those wages with interest. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys of Kansas City and we will help you prepare your suit against your former employer.