The plaintiff in the unpaid overtime lawsuit is Richard Smith, an investigator for KeyPoint who was originally classified as an independent contractor, and as such was not granted overtime. He paid for his own vehicle fuel and his own supplies, and was paid per project.
The impetus of his lawsuit was a change in his status at KeyPoint: in 2012, Smith was suddenly switched from independent contractor status to that of a full employee of KeyPoint. As such, he was now in receipt of full benefits and pay - including overtime pay as required under California overtime law.
Only thing was he saw little, if any, difference in his responsibilities. It was at this point that Smith realized there must be many others who undertake tasks as required of an employee but, rather, have been misclassified as independent contractors and thus do not benefit from overtime pay or other perks normally reserved for actual employees.
KeyPoint, the overtime pay lawsuit alleges, “treats the investigators as employees in every material respect, except that it has misclassified an entire class of them as independent contractors.” The plaintiff notes that every individual who works at KeyPoint utilizes the same application for employment, training is identical and everyone is held to a uniform standard, regardless of status as an employee or an independent contractor.
So why is it that some people are classified as independent contractors, while others are classed as employees for doing essentially the same thing? That’s what Smith wants to know. And if overtime pay laws are being circumvented through the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, then unpaid overtime and other compensation should be forthcoming.
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Smith claims that classifying some investigators as independent contractors, while others are classified as employees - with everyone doing similar work and holding to similar standards - is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
While the unpaid overtime lawsuit was filed in California, Smith is seeking class-action status on behalf of all investigators who were classed as an independent contractor in the three years preceding Smith’s complaint.
The California overtime law case is Richard Smith v. KeyPoint Government Solutions, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-00429, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.