Bethlehem, PA: KGB-USA, one of the largest independent providers of directory assistance and enhanced information services globally, will pay $1.3 million to settle charges it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. The charges arise from an investigation by the US Department of Labor (DOL) into the classification of 14,568 workers who the company alleged were independent contractors. Specifically, KGB-USA paid home workers piece rates of approximately 10 cents per call to answer text messages from customers.
The DOL investigation determined that the arrangements with those workers made them employees, not contractors, and as such were entitled, at least, to earn the minimum wage. The investigation also revealed that KGB-USA failed to keep accurate records of hours worked for its far-flung workforce.