A recent lawsuit in Houston should serve as a reminder for EMS companies to pay great attention to their payroll and employment practices. A former employee sued Infinity EMS in federal court alleging the company failed to pay overtime wages.

Recartor Patterson filed the lawsuit against Infinity on November 12, claiming the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Infinity EMS paid Patterson as an independent contractor. However, Patterson believed this was a misclassification and he worked as an employee. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor is not only illegal, but may result in hefty IRS fines and as evidenced by this case, a potential lawsuit.

FLSA requires employers to pay their non-exempt employees overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. However, independent contractors are not considered employees and thus are not covered by FLSA. According to Patterson, during his employment, he worked more than 40 hours for one or more work weeks and was not paid an overtime rate.

If you have any questions or would like our firm to review your company’s payroll policies, please contact the Law Office of Mark Smith.

Ghazal Vahora

Associate Attorney