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Alabama employers are often under pressure to maximize profits and decrease costs. Regrettably, one way employers opt to cut costs is by improperly classifying their employees as salaried employees or independent contractors.
Workers within these categories receive fewer benefits and therefore are cheaper for employers. However, some companies deliberately misclassify workers into these categories in order to save money by denying them benefits.
An experienced Alabama salary and independent misclassification lawyer has handled dozens of cases involving these issues and could help you ensure you are treated fairly by your employer. A skilled employment lawyer could help ensure that you are granted all of the rights to which you are entitled.
Someone’s status as either an exempt or nonexempt employee will determine the benefits and compensation that they are legally entitled to receive, such as overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act, abbreviated as FLSA, is a federal law that sets forth standards for minimum wage and overtime. The FLSA applies to nonexempt employees.
To be properly classified as exempt, an employee’s position must meet certain elements. Generally, an exempt employee must:
Any employee who does not meet these standards may not qualify as an exempt employee. Salaried employees should earn the same amount regardless of the number of hours they work.
Alabama does not have state wage and hour laws that differ from the federal laws, so they maintain the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Under the FLSA, most employees can receive overtime pay. Overtime is equivalent to one and a half times the usual pay rate for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. If someone should receive overtime and has not, their employer may have committed wage theft, and they should consult a Alabama salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer that could help them pursue compensation.
The meaning of the term independent contractor is often not unclear to most employees. However, an employer may not unilaterally decide that a worker is an independent contractor. The title of independent contractor has little meaning if the job’s actual duties align more closely with those of an employee.
To be an independent contractor, someone should legally own a business. An independent contractor may not have benefits such as minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, health benefits or protections from workplace harassment.
Misclassification is not limited to any particular industry and has become increasingly common in Alabama. It has affected people in the business of information technology, healthcare, trucking, construction, sales, and building services.
If you are a misclassified employee in Alabama, you are not alone. There are countless employees facing this common issue, all of whom should have the correct classification and receive the proper compensation.
Schedule a consultation with an Alabama salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer today, and speak with someone who may be able to assist you in recovering back wages, damages, and attorney fees.