In a federal lawsuit
filed yesterday, 15 current and former workers at Carter Brothers
Security LLC allege they were made part of an illegal scheme to avoid
payment of minimum wages, overtime, job expenses, and payroll taxes. NFL
Hall of Famer and ESPN commentator Cris Carter is chairman of Carter
Bros., based in Atlanta, and founded the company in 2000 with his
brother John, according to the company's website.
According to Rose Law, the workers were hired to install residential
security equipment in California under contract with AT&T Digital Life
but were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.
Workers were trained by Carter Bros. to do technician work on AT&T
equipment. They were dispatched to AT&T customer homes each day driving
AT&T trucks, wearing AT&T uniforms, and working 10- to 14-hour days
withoutpay for overtime, travel, and extra training, Rose Law alleges.
AT&T, named as a codefendant in the suit, provided supervision and
supplies to the workers, they allege. Most of the workers were laid off
when the joint venture faltered, leaving them without unemployment
benefits. Injured workers had no disability or workers' compensation
protection. The workers were made to sign contracts promising not to
work for any competitors during and for one year after their employment
with Carter Bros. ended, in violation of California law. The contracts
also purport to restrict the workers' right to sue Carter Bros. for
employment law violations and to make the workers' pay half the cost of
resolving any disputes, which can be handled only in Georgia.
The lawsuit, brought under the California Labor Code and Unfair Business
Practices Act, seeks unspecified damages for the 15 workers plus all
other California workers employed by Carter Bros. and AT&T Digital Life
as independent contractors during the last four years.
Law - Working Hard for Working People™
The workers are represented by trial lawyers Joe
Rose and Lisa
Bradner of Rose Law, APC in Gold River, California. Rose and Bradner
help employees and unions in labor law matters involving unpaid wages
and overtime, illegal discrimination, retaliation and catastrophic
injury. Joe Rose, a former firefighter, was named a Northern California
Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2013 and teaches employment law at Lincoln
Law School of Sacramento.
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