Self Contract Labor

My husband is self contract labor for a Tree Service. Here recently they tried telling him that if he didn't give them 24 hours notice when he was going to miss a day that they were going to cut his pay by $25 a day for the whole week. They can't do that can they?? They tell him when to be there, where to be, and what to do...is that really even self contract labor??

1 answer  |  asked Jul 3, 2001 08:27 AM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Employee or Indep. Contractor?

The first question is whether your husband would be classified as an employee for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act. You may want to start by going to a website for the U.S. Department of Labor. Check out the exemptions for agricultural workers, and see how that fits with what your husband does with regards to this Tree Service. He may (or may not) be entitled to minimum wage and/or overtime payments. Only after working out those difficult questions can we then turn to whether it is lawful that the employer is docking him so much pay. If (and I mean "if") your husband is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and if the company reduces his pay below that of minimum wage, he may have a claim. It's very complicated though, so start with the Department of Labor. That federal agency has a division called the Wage and Hour Division, and you might actually be able to speak with a human being there. I don't know what part of Texas you are in, but there is a Wage and Hour office in Houston.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jul 3, 2001 2:29 PM [EST]

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