HSPRD Wins Bench Trial Against Construction Company

Electrician worker

This week, HSPRD attorneys Chris Wilmes and Emily Brown won a lawsuit against Specialty Contractors, Inc. and its president John O’Hara on behalf of two electricians who were underpaid and misclassified as independent contractors. The lawsuit, filed in June 2020, alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL), Illinois Employment Classification Act (IECA), and the Illinois Wage Payment & Collection Act (IWPCA).

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that the Defendants were liable for all violations and awarded two plaintiffs a total of $80,000 in damages for unpaid overtime, lost unemployment benefits, and statutory penalties. In her ruling, the Judge held that the IECA’s $500 statutory penalty applied to each pay period for which the Plaintiffs were misclassified.

According to attorney Chris Wilmes, “This is a great day for our clients, and for the rights of construction workers in Illinois. The decision squarely holds that under the IECA, misclassified construction workers can recover for lost unemployment benefits and that the law’s $500 statutory penalty is triggered each time the worker is paid as a misclassified independent contractor.”

Back To Top