OKLAHOMA CITY – While dozens of Oklahoma healthcare workers tested scores of people for coronavirus in tents, hotel rooms and other public spaces at the pandemic’s height, their employer misclassified them as independent contractors and denied them the overtime wages, benefits and protections they more than earned.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division have recovered $142,360 in back overtime wages for 65 workers employed by Inspire Diagnostics LLC, an on-site COVID testing provider based in Lake Forest, California.

The division determined the employer should have paid the affected employees time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours over 40 in a workweek. By failing to do so, they violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Misclassifying employees as independent contractors denies workers their full wages and other employment benefits and protections. It also gives employers an unfair competitive advantage, and harms the economy,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Michael Speer in Oklahoma City. “While misclassification is a common practice in the healthcare industry, employers must understand and comply with the law to make sure workers are paid properly.”

Inspire Diagnostics LLC is a subsidiary of Inspire Health Alliance, a U.S.-based healthcare services company that works with healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes, lower costs and reduce risk using care models and technology solutions.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces laws governing pay practices and other labor standards and determines if employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors and denied them critical benefits and worker protections.

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.

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, which is available in English and Spanish for Android and Apple devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

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