Newalta Environmental Services, Inc. is on the receiving end of a proposed class and collective action in which a Pennsylvania man claims he and other workers should have been classified as employees rather than independent contractors exempt from overtime pay. Citing potential Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) abuses, the lawsuit argues that the defendant’s alleged misclassification of its workers was an attempt to avoid paying them at a time-and-a-half overtime rate for the hours they worked over 40 each week.
The plaintiff says he worked for the energy services company between April and December 2017 as a solids control technician, responsible for separating solids from drilling fluid, and was paid at a day rate regardless of how many hours he worked. According to the complaint, the man was classified as a contractor despite the significant amount of control the defendant exercised over the aspects of his job. In particular, the case points out that Newalta specified the plaintiff’s hours and locations, tools used, and pay rates, and required that he adhere to the company’s and its clients’ policies and procedures.