On January 22, 2024, Attorney Joe Whitcomb won a decision on behalf of his client, Jason Lambro, a studio technician who worked under a series of contracts for Voice of America, at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Whitcomb argued that Mr. Lambro was incorrectly denied benefits, including overtime pay, due to employees under the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA). The Circuit Court’s decision overturns a previous dismissal of Mr. Lambro’s case by the Court of Federal Claims.
Under the original complaint, Mr. Lambro claimed that the federal government incorrectly designated him as an independent contractor and that, in fact, he was an employee entitled to benefits under the FLSA. The Claims Court sided with the government in its move to dismiss Mr. Lambro’s claim, but the Circuit Court’s decision pointed out that the Claims Court’s decision relied on a faulty understanding of the FLSA’s definition of “employee.”
Agreeing with the plaintiffs, the Circuit Court’s decision asserts that Mr. Lambro is a federal employee under the definitions put forth by the FLSA itself and is therefore entitled to its protections. Specifically, the Circuit Court affirms that the FLSA’s definition of “employ” includes “to suffer or permit to work” and that under that definition, Mr. Lambro is recognized as an employee under FLSA.
Attorney Whitcomb’s victory is significant for both Mr. Lambro and the larger legal community. This decision sets a precedent for other similar cases where federal employees have been wrongly denied benefits under the FLSA's definition of “employee.” It also highlights the importance of ensuring that independent contractors are properly classified, as this can significantly impact their rights and protections under employment laws.
This landmark decision by the Circuit Court of Appeals serves as a reminder that employees, whether federal or private, are entitled to certain rights and protections under the law. It is also a testament to the dedication and expertise of Attorney Whitcomb, who tirelessly fought for his client’s rights and ultimately secured a favorable outcome.
If you are facing similar issues with your federal employment classification, Veterans Advocacy Law Group can provide experienced guidance and representation to help you navigate through legal challenges and protect your rights as a federal employee.
Don't hesitate to reach out to us online or call us at (888) 680-9612 to schedule a consultation.