I work at a hand car wash, I and 5 other guys are made to work 60-70 hrs a week and when i brought up the issue of more money I was told i was an independent contractor therefore not due minimum wage or overtime. when i told my employer about the misclassification act and minimum wage law i was told to turn in my key to the shop.
I agree that you should contact an employment law attorney in your area. It does sound like you were an employee, and you and other employees like you should have received overtime compensation for the hours that you worked in excess of 40 each week. This is likely just one of a number of legal issues that you will want to discuss with a lawyer. Good luck!