As anyone who works for a cable or satellite television company knows, the job of an installer or technician is not easy. Many cable installers and satellite technicians have to work far beyond the typical 40-hour work week as part of their job-related responsibilities, which leads to long days and even longer nights. Unfortunately, the hard work put in by these employees does not always go rewarded. Some employers attempt to avoid paying their installers and technicians the overtime compensation that is rightfully owed to them. These employees must learn their legal rights in order to ensure that they receive the overtime pay that they deserve.
What are some of the rights that a cable installer or a satellite technician should be aware of? The following is a helpful overview that all people employed by a cable or satellite company should understand:
A piece rate generally means that you are paid according the number of installations that you perform. However, if you spend more than 40 hours each week working, then your employer is required to compensate you at the overtime pay rate of 1.5 times your regular rate for those additional hours.
This also means that your employer must track your travel time between jobs, the time that you spend waiting for jobs, the time that you spend at the shop, the time that you spend working from home, the time that you spend waiting for customers, and the time that you spend training. For example, if your company requires you to complete certain trainings by taking online courses at home, you may be entitled to overtime compensation. If the training is required and related to your job, the time spent must be fairly compensated. In addition, the job of a cable installer or satellite technician often requires significant travel. Travel performed during work time is usually to be counted as working hours and therefore you must be compensated accordingly.
This is known as misclassification. A worker can only be deemed an independent contractor if certain specific criteria are met. Generally speaking, the difference between an employee and an independent contractor boils down to whether you are working for yourself versus whether your employment is dependent on the company. When you are working for a company, including following their rules and procedures and performing the job duties that they assign you, you are likely to be considered an employee. Employees are entitled to overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act, while independent contractors are not. It is also important to note that you cannot simply waive your right to overtime or agree to be deemed an independent contractor when you do not meet the specific criteria required by law.
If you are working as a cable installer or satellite technician and are not being paid for some of the time that you spend working or not being paid overtime rates, it is crucial to seek guidance from a knowledgeable legal professional. The laws relating to wage and overtime pay are complex and highly technical. Having someone in your corner who understands the legal landscape surrounding wage and overtime claims can help improve your chances of recovering what is rightfully owed to you.
When you are ready to take the next steps towards pursuing a claim, we are available to help. We encourage you to reach out today for a free consultation at 713-425-6445.