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HCMWorks Insights

Independent Contractor for UC Berkeley Investigated for Underpaying Workforce

Posted by Julia Fournier on 19 Nov 2015


Getting forced to work overtime can be bad enough. Working overtime without getting paid for it is just cruel and unusual punishment. That's part of the issue at the center of a case involving an independent contractor in charge of the contingent workforce of UC Berkeley. The contractor is currently being investigated by the Department of Labor, according to the student run publication DailyCal.org.

The Growing Contingent Workforce

Performance First Building Services has had a contract with the school since 2008 to clean and maintain the athletic facilities. Like many companies, they utilize a contingent workforce. In fact, over 40% of all workers in the U.S. do so in this capacity, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Recently we are seeing more and more worker misclassification investigations popping up. According to reports, not only has this independent custodial contractor of UC Berkeley routinely underpaid employees, the company has also completely refused to pay some at all for overtime hours worked.

The Department of Labor has already cleared the school and told them they are not involved in the investigation, but school officials have said they will be conducting their own and will “respond appropriately” as well.

Like most states, by law California employees, whether full-time or contingent workers, must be paid 1.5 times their hourly wage for working more than eight hours in a day or more than 40 in one week. The majority of independent contractors (66%) work full-time.

Illegal Loopholes

One of the specific situations involves an employee who claims the company paid him in two different checks with two different names to avoid having to pay him at the overtime rate he deserved. Other workers have reported being asked to work completely off the clock, and even without a lunch break for 80 hours a week.

Workforce Management Solutions

Most large corporations and universities (90% of all firms) use some type of contingent workforce or contracted employees because it is too difficult to keep track of and handle the vast amount of entities in such extensive organizations. This is a good reminder to those that do that you better have a reliable and reputable workforce management provider working with you to ensure everything is done the right way.

10 Ways to Reduce Costs & Risk of Your Contingent Workforce


Tags: Independent Contractors

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