A defunct Minnesota company that provided cable equipment recovery services must pay $350,000 to a group of 41 drivers and market contractors to settle a US Department of Labor independent contractor misclassification lawsuit, the agency announced Monday.
The company, Cable Equipment Services, was based in Oakdale, Minn. It ceased operations in November 2015, but its customers included cable television firms Comcast, Time Warner and Charter Communications.
Market contractors distributed work and performed other tasks to enable drivers to pick up cable television equipment from consumers and return that equipment to cable companies, according to the Department of Labor. Cable Equipment Services paid both types of workers on a piecework basis and did not pay an overtime premium no matter how many hours worked.
The company also violated Fair Labor Standards recordkeeping requirements by not tracking time records for the workers, the Department of Labor reported.
Cable and phone workers have been involved in independent contractor misclassification difficulties before. Presently, a separate case has been brought against Verizon  and other firms by workers brought in during a recent strike. Those workers also claim they were misclassified as independent contractors.