DirectTV Installation Technicians Not Exempt Employees

An Illinois federal judge has dismissed a wage-and-hour suit against DirectTV saying that the installation technicians’ suit did not describe a relationship with the company that qualified them as employees eligible for overtime or other benefits.

Although the plaintiffs installed DirecTV products, they worked for subcontractors hired by the satellite giant and its co-defendant DirectSat USA LLC, and they failed to a state a plausible claim that the defendants owed them additional compensation for their work.

​Although the plaintiffs installed DirectTV products, they worked for subcontractors. DirectTV did not have the ability to actually hire or fire plaintiffs, and defendants did not determine the rate or method of plaintiffs’ payment.

In his order on Wednesday, the judge wrote that the technicians had not supported their claims that their relationship with DirecTV and DirectSat was that of employee-employer. “Plaintiffs in this case point to no agreement or contract [with the defendants] whatsoever,” he wrote.

The judge dismissed with prejudice claims filed under the Illinois Employee Classification Act, saying that the law was intended to protect workers in the construction industry and the satellite installation did not apply as construction. He dismissed without prejudice the suit’s other claims, filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and said that the plaintiffs had 30 days to file an amended complaint if they chose to.

For questions related to employee status, please contact Ford & Diulio at 714-384-5540.