IEM Case Summary

Summary: On June 4, 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Quality Assurance Control Specialists (“Specialists) who work or have worked for Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (“IEM”) nationwide as Specialists on the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Project. The class action lawsuit alleges that IEM misclassified Specialists as independent contractors, and failed to pay Specialists the appropriate overtime wages and provide proper wage notices and wage statements, as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). The complaint also alleges that IEM unlawfully breached their contracts with Specialists, by terminating Specialists without providing prior written notice. Affected persons include current and former Specialists who work or have worked for IEM on the Project within the last six years.

Specialists signed “Consulting Agreements” whereby they agreed to render services as independent contractors for the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Project, however, IEM exercised sufficient control over their employment such that Specialists were protected as “employees” under the FLSA and NYLL. Therefore, while IEM generally paid the Plaintiff $50.00 for all reported hours, they failed to pay her the appropriate overtime premiums for hours worked in excess of 40 per workweek ($75 per hour), even though she frequently worked over 80 hours per week.

Given that Specialists were hourly employees, IEM was required to pay them at time and one-half their regularly hourly rate for all hours beyond 40 per workweek under the FLSA and NYLL. The Plaintiff also alleges breach of contract, as the Consultant Agreement provided for a guaranteed term of employment that could only be terminated upon the giving of 30 days prior written notice, and the Plaintiff was terminated prior to the expiration of her contract without any prior notification. The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages, liquidated and statutory damages, and damages for breach of contract. Anyone who works or has worked with IEM as a Specialist may have a wage claim. Current and former Specialists at IEM who have questions about the lawsuit, should contact The Lore Law Firm (713) 782-5291.

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