A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a proposed class of information technology consultants over allegations that The CJS Solutions Group, LLC, which does business as The HCI Group, failed to pay them proper wages as a result of improperly misclassifying the individuals as independent contractors, not employees. Filed in Washington, the complaint alleges the defendant—a company that provides information technology services for the healthcare industry with hundreds of IT consultants—despite the “economic realities” of proposed class members’ day-to-day work activities, pay workers a straight hourly rate regardless of whether they work more than 40 hours in a week.
The issue, as with many lawsuits filed over allegations of employee misclassification, comes down to whether a clear employer-employee relationship existed between the proposed class and the defendants, as well as whether the alleged misclassification may have been intentional:
“HCI has intentionally misclassified [the plaintiff] and the class members to avoid HCI’s obligations under the [Fair Labor Standards Act] and Washington law,” the plaintiff argues. “HCI saves thousands of dollars in avoiding expenses associated with its core business by not providing [the plaintiff] and the class members with overtime pay, health, pension, rest breaks, meal breaks or other benefits ordinary employees are entitled to and enjoy.”