Posts Tagged ‘misclassification’

The crime wave no one is talking about

There are now two very good reasons to be excited it’s November 18.

One: It’s Owen Wilson’s birthday.

Two: It’s the National Day of Action Against Wage Theft.

Across the country, corrupt employers are abusing their workers’ rights and finding ways to cheat them out of their proper salary. Wage theft is the pervasive and illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work. Bosses try to find ways to line their pockets with their employees’ money by refusing to let them take breaks, misclassifying them as independent contractors, or even paying under the minimum wage. Read more »


Misclassification kicked to the curb in Pennsylvania

Last week, we talked about how DirecTV skirts labor and tax law by misclassifying its employees as independent contractors. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed into law legislation that will prevent construction companies from following in DirecTV’s footsteps.

Act 72, or the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act, subjects contracting companies who cheat the system by denying their workers’ rights to fines and criminal prosecution. In addition, there’s an “acting in concert” provision, punishing anyone who knowingly hires a contractor who is violating the act. Previously, attorneys could make a company repay unemployment compensation funds in cases of misclassification, but the state could not charge the employer with a criminal offense. Read more »


Undercover Boss conceals truth about DirecTV

world's worst boss mugIf you weren’t busy cheering on the gangsters of Boardwalk Empire last Sunday (like one very enthusiastic American Rights at Work blogger), perhaps you saw the newest episode of CBS’s Undercover Boss. This week’s featured company was DirecTV, a national broadcast satellite service.

In the episode, DirecTV President and CEO Mike White went undercover in his own company where he “discovered” that employees are spending their own money for requisite supplies and for equipment failures that are out of their control.

Unfortunately, that kind of disregard for employees and their rights isn’t an isolated incident at the company.  DirecTV has a history of unionbusting and mistreating their workers, which Undercover Boss decided didn’t make for interesting television.

In some states, such as Georgia and Florida, DirecTV hired the notorious unionbusting firm Bell and Associates to try and prevent its workers from exercising their right to form a union with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). And across the country, the company gets around providing benefits such as overtime compensation for DirecTV installers by misclassifying them as independent contractors.

Is it any wonder why DirecTV is facing no less than six class action lawsuits from employees?

Check out this interview with Mark Smith, a call center worker at DirecTV’s Missoula facility, who was fired for attempting to form a union.