PEARL, MS – Security industry workers too often find themselves misclassified by their employers as independent contractors instead of employees, which can shortchange workers’ wages and benefits and expose employers to liability for back wage payments.
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found Bullock Investigation Security LLC of Pearl misclassified workers as independent contractors and subsequently paid them straight-time rates for all the hours that they worked. By doing so, the employer violated overtime rules by not paying workers time-and-a-half their regular rates for hours they worked beyond 40 in a workweek.
To resolve this Fair Labor Standards Act violation, Bullock has paid $18,291 in back wages to 43 workers.
“This case and its resolution should remind employers in industries such as security and construction – where we frequently find employees misclassified as independent contractors – to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “These essential workers deserve to be paid all the wages they have legally earned, and employers who play by the rules deserve to compete on a level playing field.”
The FLSA includes provisions that require covered employers to pay employees at least the federal minimum wage for every hour they work and overtime compensation at not less than one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for every hour they work over 40 in a workweek. Whether a worker is an employee under the FLSA is a legal question determined by the actual employment relationship, not simply by title, choice, or industry practice. FLSA protections do not apply to independent contractors.
Based in Pearl, Bullock Investigation Security LLC provides security services for individuals and businesses in the local area.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact its 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.