MANCHESTER, NH – A New Hampshire residential carpentry contractor misclassified some employees as independent contractors and paid others straight-time wages when they worked over 40 hours in a workweek, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found.

The investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found Southers Construction Inc., based in Dover, also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it paid some workers “off-the-books” with non-payroll checks and failed to keep adequate and accurate records of payroll and work hours.

The division recovered $53,839 in back wages and an equal amount of $53,839 in liquidated damages for 52 employees because of the investigation.

“Residential construction workers do essential work, ensuring the safety of our homes and families. Our investigation found Southers Construction Inc. denied some of their workers hard-earned overtime pay,” said Wage and Hour District Director Steven McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Contractors cannot evade overtime requirements by misclassifying employees or by failing to pay them in accordance with the law.”

Employers with questions about their legal obligations and workers who believe their employer has not paid them properly are encouraged to contact their local Wage and Hour Division office.

In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $36 million in back wages for workers in the construction industry.

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. The division protects workers regardless of immigration status, and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages.

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