Healthcare workers should have been paid overtime — $147k owed Nurse practitioners weren’t independent contractors Is that worker an employee or an independent contractor? Getting the answer wrong can be costly. Case in point: The operator of two Mississippi urgent care clinics is on the hook for six figures because it wrongfully classified nurse practitioners as independent contractors instead of employees. Based on the erroneous classification, Maxem Health Urgent Care which has urgent care facilities in Picayune and Petal, paid its nurse practitioners at straight-time rates for all hours worked. But the nurse practitioners were in fact employees, meaning they were illegally denied overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Also in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the employer failed to combine hours worked when nurse practitioners spent time at both locations during the same workweek. Maxem has agreed to pay $147,622 to 16 employees to remedy the violation, which was discovered by investigators with the Dept. of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division. How to tell the difference Unfortunately, there’s no simple test to apply to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the FLSA. But a useful DOL fact sheet, available at, identifies a number of relevant factors that’ll help you make the right call. More info: