In San Francisco, CA the owners of a residential cleaning service were taken into custody and later released after failing to comply with a court order directing payment of $3.5 million in back wages to 385 employees.
The Court sided with the Department of Labor in finding that the company had wrongfully classified its home and carpet cleaners as independent contractors and failed to pay them the federally required minimum wage and overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.
As a note of caution to those classified as independent contractors: Just because the company pays you a flat fee or a salary for your work doesn't mean your an independent contractor. If the company dictates your workweek hours, where you will work, and you work for the same company on a regular basis - you may actually be an employee, not an independent contractor. For more information, contact an attorney who understands wage and hour law.