In a statement, the attorney general’s office said Rock Spring misclassified 75 drywall workers as independent contractors from 2015 to 2017 and will pay more than $225,000 in penalties to the city and more than $56,000 in restitution to employees.
Under D.C. law, businesses must pay employees at least $14 per hour and provide overtime pay.
In the other case, the attorney general sued J.D. Nursing and Management Services and its former CEO in 2017, alleging the company failed to pay more than 20 personal-care aides more than 150 hours worth of wages each, officials said. After the city won a court ruling in the case last month, the attorney general’s office said it will seek to collect about $195,000 for the workers. Officials also said $22,050 is owed in penalties to the District.
A call Thursday to an attorney for J.D. Nursing and Management Services was not returned. But in a company statement, Rock Spring Contracting said it disagreed with the attorney general’s “novel and untested legal theories” because misclassified employees stemmed from actions taken by subcontractors.
“Rock Spring sought to avoid the time and expense of potential litigation by resolving this matter through settlement on behalf of our subcontractors,” the statement said. “We have been and will always be an employer and partner that treats our workers with respect and fairness.”
In an interview, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine said his office has sought to crack down on wage theft in a battle against “a stubborn minority” of employers who “look to cheat employees.”
His office has launched more than 30 investigations into the practice, he said, including the construction industry, where a report he commissioned last year found those who commit payroll fraud unfairly underbid those who don’t.
“Employers should follow the law in the District of Columbia,” he said. “We’re supporting employees, supporting the rule of law and supporting what is supposed to be a genuinely competitive business.”