The investigation into cable installer and cable repair technician overtime pay has been closed – thank you to everyone who reached out to share their story.
If you are interested in pursuing legal recourse or if you have any questions about your legal rights in a specific situation, we encourage you to speak with an attorney. You can read up on how to find and research class action attorneys over on our blog.
The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on what you need to know when it comes to overtime pay, which you can read about here, and you can find a list of ongoing investigations on this page.
At A Glance
This Investigation Affects:
Anyone who works or has worked as a cable installer or cable repair technician and suspects they were not paid properly.
What's Going On?
Lawsuits are being filed claiming that some telecommunications companies are cheating cable repair technicians and installers out of proper pay, including overtime wages.
Class action lawsuits are now being filed on behalf of cable installers and cable repair workers who say they’re not being paid properly.
What Do the Lawsuits Claim the Companies Are Doing Wrong?
The suits claim some telecommunications companies are illegally classifying their cable installers and repair workers as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime.
In addition, some lawsuits claim that even when these workers are classified as employees, their employers are finding other ways to avoid paying them properly.
This, the suits claim, can include deducting time for meal breaks that the employees worked through and improperly deducting money from workers’ paychecks for “misplaced” equipment and appointments where clients did not show up.
How Can I Tell If I’m an Independent Contractor or Employee?
In general, the more control the company has over you, the more likely it is that you are an employee and not an independent contractor.
Cable installers and repair workers are claiming they can’t be considered contractors under the law because:
They’re required to wear uniforms bearing the company’s logo
They’re required to check in with the company every morning and night
The company tracks their whereabouts via a cell phone GPS app
The company requires that the workers be available during a certain timeframe
The company has strict standards about how workers are to perform on the job
The suits also point out that the “contracted” repair technicians and installers perform the same tasks as “in-house” workers.
You can read more about the difference between independent contractors and employees here.
Workers Also Complain of Wage Deductions, Failure to Track Hours Worked
Lawsuits are also claiming that some telecommunications companies are breaking state and federal labor law by:
Charging workers for misplaced equipment, parking tickets and appointments where clients were a no-show
Deducting meal breaks that the employees worked through
Requiring workers to pay for their own cell phones, boots and tools
Failing to record total hours worked by each installer or repair technician
Failing to issue wage statements
Failing to pay overtime for hours worked past 40 in a workweek
How a Class Action Can Help
A class action lawsuit can help workers recover compensation for their unpaid straight (regular) or overtime hours, as well as any deductions that were illegally made on their paychecks. Furthermore, class action lawsuits can send a strong message to companies who fail to pay their workers properly and may require by court order that they change their business practices.