The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed against a trucking company and alleges truck drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they are actually employees of the company. According to the lawsuit, the defendant misclassified the truck drivers to avoid paying them overtime and meal and rest breaks.
Many independent truck drivers are paid by the load, rather than hourly, so regardless of whether a load takes seven hours or nine hours, the independent truck driver would receive the same rate of pay, whereas an employee would receive overtime for the extra hour.
According to Land Line (5/15/13), the truck drivers say they drove company trucks and had no control over their workday, which independent truck drivers would have.
Independent contractors are generally not eligible to receive overtime pay. As with administrative overtime exemptions, however, it is not enough to simply hire someone as an independent contractor and not pay them for overtime. The person must actually have the same rights and responsibilities as an independent contractor. If he or she is treated by the company as an employee, then he or she must also be paid as an employee, including proper breaks and overtime pay.
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In other words, it is the actual duties of the employees and not just their job title that determines whether or not they are eligible for overtime pay. If an employee has an administrative job title but performs the duties of an hourly employee, he or she could be eligible for overtime wages.