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February 20, 2001
Employee or Employer? Suit Shows Distinction Not Always Clear
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ecent lawsuit settlement demonstrates the question of "who is the employee and who is the employer" is not always clear when courts attempt to determine whether abuse of "independent contractor" status has taken place.

A group of workers sued C. R. Calderon Construction Company of College Park, Mar. for $120,000 in overtime, back pay and damages, saying they believed they were employees and were therefore entitled to overtime pay and health care benefits, according a story in the Feb. 19 Washington Post.

A settlement was reached Friday, with Calderon agreeing to pay the workers $30,000 and admitting to no wrongdoing. Representatives from Calderon claimed the workers were independent contractors and were therefore not entitled to overtime and health care benefits.

Although the workers were initially hired as employees, they later formed teams and got paid by Calderon through a team leader in cash to avoid paying taxes. However, workers say they were misled and said they continued to act as Calderon employees, using Calderon equipment and materials, and submitting weekly time sheets to the company, the Post reported.

Click here to read the complete story.
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