On August 10, 2012, NELA joined Interfaith Worker Justice, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) as amicus curiae in Scantland v. Knight Enterprises, Inc. (Case No. 12-12614), pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, urging reversal of a grant of summary judgment in this FLSA independent contractor misclassification case. Scantland involves over 180 cable installation technicians of Knight Enterprises, Inc. (“Knight”), a cable installation company, who are seeking to recover unpaid wages and overtime pay under the FLSA. None of the workers received overtime for work performed over 40 hours per week as required by the FLSA. In granting summary judgment, the district court held that the cable installation technicians were not employees of Knight, but were instead independent contractors who are exempt from the protections of the FLSA.
Focusing on the statutory language and historical underpinnings of the FLSA, specifically the breadth of the definition of “employ” under the statute, our brief urges the Eleventh Circuit to apply the FLSA consistent with its history. In addition, we advance strong public policy reasons that support a broad application of the FLSA, especially in this era of increasing abuse of the “independent contractor” designation. This issue has broad implications for amici, millions of workers in a wide-ranging variety of jobs, law-abiding employers, as well as for local and state government budgets.
Authors: Catherine K. Ruckelshaus and Eunice Cho (National Employment Law Project), Kristi Graunke (Southern Poverty Law Center)