In August 2012, Baron and Budd attorney Allen Vaught, along with co-counsel Ed Sullivan of Oberti Sullivan, LLP, achieved a victory for a group of mechanics who were misclassified by their employer as independent contractors and not paid overtime wages. The overtime violation lawsuit alleged that the employer misclassified the group of mechanics to avoid paying overtime wages legally required for full-time employees. According to the FLSA, these workers should have been classified as employees and paid an overtime wage of one and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek.
The mechanics in the case were typically paid a fixed salary and generally worked a 50 to 60-hour workweek, but were not paid their corresponding federally mandated overtime wages. Under the FLSA, a worker is an employee as opposed to an independent contractor if, as a matter of economic reality, the worker is economically dependent on the company.
After careful evaluation, a judge and jury returned a verdict stating that the mechanics were legally owed their unpaid back wages plus a penalty known as liquidated damages for the employers violation of the FLSA. The judge also awarded the mechanics legal fees and expenses.