Ann Kiernan replies:
Yes, assuming that they are performing non-exempt work. There is no special rule for contract workers. They’re classified the same as they would be if they were regular, full-time staff. This question tripped up retail giant Target a few years ago when an audit by U.S. Labor Department showed that a janitorial contractor had placed maintenance workers in a special category and didn’t pay them overtime. To settle the audit, the contractor paid $1.9 million in back pay and penalties.
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