Dish Network techs sue for overtime wages

Michelle Keahey Sep. 8, 2011, 12:29pm

Technicians for a Dish Network affiliate have filed a lawsuit against their employer arguing that they have been unfairly classified as independent contractors in order for their employer to avoid paying overtime wages.

Dale Robert White, Ban Todd Murray and James Miller, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit against Integrated Electronic Technologies Inc. and Dish Network Service on Aug. 31 in federal court in New Orleans.

The plaintiffs are technicians that install and service for the field service provider for Integrated Electronic Technologies on behalf of Dish Network and have been classified as "independent contractors." The employees state that by being classified in this manner, they have been deprived of overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and denied wages to which they were entitled under Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana law.

The defendants are accused of calling these individuals "independent contractors" to avoid paying payroll taxes, workers' compensation insurance, health insurance, unemployment insurance, overtime and other benefits of employment.

The technicians state that they typically work between 60 to 90 hours a week and are not paid any overtime for the work performed.

The employees are asking the Court to issue an injunction preventing the defendants from continuing to mischaracterizing the employees as independent contractors and for an award of compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, attorneys' fees, and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by J. Douglas Sunseri and Svetlana Crouch of Nicaud & Sunseri in Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02186

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