Misclassified Workers Settle Class Action Lawsuit Recovering $540,000

In Juan Almendras, et al v. Atelier Meriguet-Carrere, et al, The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, together with Emery Celli Brinkerhoff & Abady LLP, represent former and current painters of the high end residential decorating and painting companies, Atelier Premiere, Inc. and Atelier Mériguet-Carrère.

On February 4, 2015, the Honorable Judge Paul Crotty of the Southern District of New York granted class certification and final approval of a collective/class action settlement which resolved the painters claims that the companies misclassified them as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime compensation as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), illegally deducted from their pay money for general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance in violation of the NYLL and failed to provide annual wage statements and correct paystubs as required by the NYLL. A payment of close to $400,000 will be divided among the class, which consists of more than 80 workers, most of whom are South American men who primarily speak Spanish and Portuguese. The remaining money will go to attorneys’ fees.

By misclassifying employees as independent contractors, employers cheat workers of their rights under the labor and employment laws. Misclassified employees are also cheated of payroll contributions, and social security and Medicare contributions. Employers who misclassify their workforce also fail to pay employer taxes to the government.

Staffing in this case from The Legal Aid Society included Staff Attorneys Amy Hong and Hollis Pfitsch and Supervising Attorney Karen Cacace. Staffing from Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady included Partner Elizabeth Saylor and Associate David Lebowitz.