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News Brief

Call center provider to pay $150K in back wages for misclassifying hundreds of employees as independent contractors – denying minimum wage, overtime

Firm now classifies all call-center agents as employees

Employer: ViaSource Solutions Inc., formerly INW Contact LLC, a call-center provider to businesses that market products on television infomercials

Location: 223 East Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 222, Thousand Oaks, California

Investigation findings: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found ViaSource Solutions misclassified hundreds of call-center agents as independent contractors rather than employees, and subsequently denied them minimum wage and overtime for hours they worked, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The firm also failed to pay employees for time spent in training, creating additional violations of the FLSA.   

Resolution:  ViaSource has reclassified all call-center agents as employees and will pay $101,491 in back wages for minimum-wage violations to 435 employees plus $48,893 for unpaid overtime due to 165 employees.  

Quote: “The resolution of this investigation of ViaSource Solutions sends a clear message to employers who try to reduce overhead costs at the expense of their workers,” said Kimchi Bui, director of the Wage and Hour Division in Los Angeles. “Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA is a legal question, determined by the actual employment relationship – not by any title, or any agreement between an employer and employee. We take worker misclassification very seriously, and will hold employers accountable to classify workers properly and to provide them with all the benefits entitled by law.”

Information: Misclassifying employees as independent contractors or some other nonemployee status often denies them minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and other workplace protections. Employers often intentionally misclassify workers to reduce labor costs and avoid employment taxes. For more information about federal wage laws administered by the Wage and Hour Division, or to file a complaint, call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All services are free and confidential. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
April 14, 2016
Release Number
16-0511-SAN
Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Contact: Jose Carnevali