According to the Sacramento Business Journal, a federal lawsuit has been filed against Carter Brothers Security LLC, alleging that it misclassified workers as independent contractors in an illegal scheme to avoid the payment of minimum wages, overtime, job expenses and payroll taxes.
Carter Brothers was founded in 2000 by NFL Hall of Famer and ESPN commentator Cris Carter, with his brother John Carter. The company is based out of Atlanta.
Workers said in the lawsuit that they were trained by Carter Brothers to install residential security equipment in California under contract with AT&T Digital Life. They were reportedly dispatched each day while driving AT&T trucks and wearing AT&T uniforms, working 10 to 14-hours per day without overtime, travel or extra training, according to their lawsuit.
AT&T is also named in the lawsuit, which is seeking millions of dollars in damages and penalties. Most of the workers were laid off when the joint venture faltered, the lawsuit said.
Because the workers were considered independent contractors instead of employees, workers were not entitled to unemployment benefits, disability pay or workers’ compensation benefits from what was in some cases hazardous work, the lawsuit states. They now also face tax liabilities.
Also at issue is that workers were required to sign contracts promising not to work for any competitors during and for one year after their employment with Carter Brothers, according to the Business Journal. Carter Brothers reportedly threatened legal action if they did not honor the non-compete contract.
How Do I Prove That I Have Wages Withheld Illegally?
Wage and overtime claims can be difficult to prove. As we have been reporting recently, in California employers are prohibited from docking your wages below minimum wage. Laws exist to ensure that employees are given fair and just compensation for the work they perform. However, in some cases, companies attempt to find loopholes to try to work around compensation laws. If you believe this is occurring, you should contact our experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers.
If you feel like your employer is not properly paying you or you believe that you have not received pay you are owed, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation by calling (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys