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December 20, 2006
Dept. of Labor Says Company Owes $2M in OT

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit accusing Rife Industrial Marine in Texas of misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

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The lawsuit accuses the company of violating the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The department says that the company owes almost $2 million in back wages. The department filed the complaint against Rife Industrial Marine and Rodney Rife, president of the company.

The department alleges that the company incorrectly classified welders who were working offshore as independent contractors.

For purposes of the FLSA, there are a number of factors for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. In this case, the department's Wage and Hour Division alleges that the welders failed to meet the legal factors for independent contractor status.

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