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$42,000 Awarded to Florida Workers for Misclassification as Contractors

November 15, 2015

The Eleventh Circuit awarded $42,000 to two Florida drivers who were improperly classified as independent contractors and denied proper minimum wages and overtime pay. This decision is one of several this year holding major companies like FedEx and Uber responsible for wrongfully treating workers as independent contractors.

The two men worked for a Miami-based company called Quick Messenger Services that delivers over-the-counter and prescription medications via couriers. They charged that it wrongly misclassified them as independent contractors instead of full-time employees. After a four-day jury trial, the two men were awarded $42,000 in unpaid back wages and damages.

The jury found that Quick Messenger Services showed a “reckless disregard” for the Fair Labor Standards Act. The owner of Quick Messenger Services plans to appeal the decision but has provided no further comments.

Employers are obviously concerned with maximizing their profits and understandably so. However, some employers are less honest than others and achieve that maximum profit goal by misclassifying their employees. Some companies may be inclined to reduce their payroll tax by deliberately misclassifying employees as independent contractors, or they may try to avoid paying legally required overtime by misclassifying regular employees as executives, administrators, or professionals.

The Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are committed to establishing a fair work environment for all. We will fight for your right to the pay that you have legally earned. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.