The DuPage Housing Authority in Illinois may have misclassified a maintenance worker as an independent contractor and thereby cheated him out of overtime wages and disability benefits.

Anthony Simpkins may have really been an employee of the Illinois agency, a federal appeals court said, finding Simpkins and the DHA disputed various aspects of their working relationship. The agency provides affordable housing to “vulnerable populations,” according to its website.

The June 20 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...