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June 13, 2006
Dept. of Labor Says Employers Are Misclassifying Katrina Clean-Up Workers

The Department of Labor says it has found a number of cases in which employers are misclassifying Hurricane Katrina clean-up workers as independent contractors.

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In a recent case, three companies agreed to pay $362,673 in back wages for 680 employees in the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast region.

The department's Wage and Hour investigators alleged that Remza Drywall & Construction Inc. (Lewisville, Texas), Atlantida Construction Inc. (Duluth, Georgia), and H & H LLC (Biloxi,Mississippi ) misclassified employees as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime compensation when employees worked more than 40 hours in a week.

The investigations were conducted as part of Wage and Hour's ongoing hurricane-related initiative to ensure that workers involved in clean-up and reconstruction activities are being properly compensated. Wage and Hour has dispatched additional investigators to the Gulf Coast region and created a Gulf Coast Task Force to provide increased enforcement support and boost compliance outreach activities.

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