Clay company ordered to pay $380,000 in back wages to 300 workers

By Rick Moriarty
on December 04, 2014 at 12:41 PM, updated December 04, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Syracuse, N.Y. – A Syracuse area contractor has been ordered to pay $380,000 in back wages to more than 300 drywall installers that federal officials said were misclassified as independent contractors.

The U.S. Department of Labor sued General Interior Systems Inc., of Clay, in U.S. District Court in Syracuse in 2008, alleging the company misclassified employees to avoid paying overtime and other benefits.

GIS and its owner and president, Jeffrey Mento, admitted to the misclassification and agreed to pay back wages in a settlement with the DOL in August last year.

DOL spokesman Ted Fitzgerald said the department was making the settlement public now to highlight the issue of misclassification and to seek the public’s help in finding the employees who are owed the back wages. Some of the 300 workers have moved and left no forwarding address, he said.

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