Class Action for DirecTV Installers Proceeds

The U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota allowed workers who install and maintain DirecTV satellite systems to proceed as a class.  The lawsuit for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act was brought by Carlton Edwards and others against Multiband Corporation, one of DirecTV’s largest full-service home service providers (HSP’s). Multiband is responsible for 20% of the installation and maintenance of DirecTV’s satellite equipment for single-family homes throughout the nation, operating in 16 states. It claimed that the workers were really employees or independent contractors of other companies with whom Multiband subcontracted.  The court found that Multiband directly controlled the work done by the technicians, including requiring them to start a job at a certain time, clock-in with a Multiband dispatcher, perform the job within a certain time frame, pass inspections by Multiband for the work done, and attend Multiband classes to stay current with Multiband policies and procedures.  Other DirecTV HSP’s have been sued for similar pay practices.

Baluchi's Indian Food to Pay $1 Million to Workers

Restaurant workers at a New York City restaurant chain, Baluchi’s Indian Food, and its owner, Rakesh Aggarwal, will finally get paid.  Eighteen workers filed suit for to recover minimum wages, overtime pay and misappropriated tips, under the FLSA and New York state wage and hour laws on behalf of a class of workers.  Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, approved a $1 million settlement between the parties.

Current and former employees of Baluchi’s will receive a portion of the $1 million settlement based on their position, weekly wage, hours worked per week, and number of weeks worked.  Individual compensation will also depend on whether an employee is classified as a “Front of the House Plaintiff” who traditionally received tips while working, such as a waiter or delivery person, or a “Back of the House Plaintiff,” who traditionally did not receive tips, such as a cook or a dishwasher.  

According to Forbes, restaurant jobs are among the lowest paying jobs in America. Furthermore, low-wage workers in the restaurant industry are often subjected to illegal pay practices.  For more information on working conditions affecting New York restaurant workers read Behind the Kitchen Door: Pervasive Inequality in New York's Thriving Restaurant Industry published by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York.