Laborers who worked on some of Virginia’s major construction projects in recent years have sued subcontractors that employed them, charging wage theft in two federal lawsuits.

The suits assert that workers were not paid overtime after being intentionally misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. The legal premise for one suit cites the employer’s relationship with the workers that includes setting schedules, providing direct and indirect worksite supervision, setting or influencing worker’s rates of pay, and “maintaining, as a practical matter, the power to fire or demote workers.”

One court filing says that according to state law, an individual who performs services for money is presumed to be an employee of the person who pays them, unless they are classified as an independent contractor under guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service.

One of the attorneys representing workers told a Virginia television station that worker misclassification is extraordinarily widespread in the construction industry. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking unpaid wages, employment benefits, funds for attorney fees, and two times the amount of unpaid wages as damages.

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Workers on some of Virginia’s major construction projects sue subcontractors for wage theft – dmalone – 2021-01-07 15:44:23

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