SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 without pay 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.
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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.