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Contractor Pays Wages Owed to Subcontractor’s Employees

Workers who helped build the new international terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta were finally paid thousands of dollars which they were owed in overtime pay.  In the television report, investigative reporter Richard Belcher of Channel 2 News in Atlanta, Georgia explained that the workers were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees, and were given a “ten ninety nine” form instead of a W-2 by their employer, Colt’s Drywall Inc.

The injustice came to light when some of the employees informed Jimmy Gibbs, a troubleshooter for the carpenters’ union, that they were not being paid as employees.  Gibbs alerted the US Department of Labor who then discovered that not only were the workers not having taxes withheld from their pay, but they were also working more than 40 hours each week and were not being paid the extra “time and a half” wage for those hours over 40.  As a result of the investigation, the workers were told to go to the office of New South Restorations (NSR) to collect the overtime wages which they were owed.  NSR is the drywall company who was hired for the job, and who subcontracted the work to Colt’s Drywall Inc.  A representative from NSR, stated that even though his company is now paying the overtime wages owed, his company did nothing wrong.

In the television report, one of the workers expressed his concern about being paid as an independent contractor instead of an employee.  He said:

“If these guys give me the 1099, who’s going to pay the Medicare, the social security, federal income tax, and the Georgia [state income] tax?”

The entire Channel 2 Action News report can be viewed on their website.


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