Independent Contractors vs. Employees
If you have spent time in the working arena, you probably know certain folks are categorized as an independent contractor instead of an employee? Legally speaking, its a big difference.
Individuals who are classified as independent contractors save an employer lots of money. As an independent contractor, you would not be entitled to benefits and protections under the Family and Medical leave act, overtime pay, minimum wage protection, and perhaps certain benefits available from your employer only to qualifying employees.
With all of these benefits for the employer, it is easy to see why so many employers are quick to claim their workers to be independent contractors and not employees. However, how do you know if you are being misclassified or not? Some questions to answer when determining if you should be considered an employee or an independent contractor include:
- Is my compensation based on something other than a project-by-project basis?
- Are my hours determined and kept by my employer?
- Does my employer provide the materials and equipment necessary to complete my job?
- Does my employer instruct me on how to accomplish the work assigned to me or am I given autonomy to complete the job as I see fit?
Worker misclassification has become perhaps the most widespread way employers are cheating employees out of money they are entitled; otherwise known as “wage theft”. The bottom line is, lots of employers are trying to avoid their legal obligations by misclassifying employees as an independent contractor.
Recent lawsuits have been filed against major employers such as NBC, Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, Grub Hub, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, Fed Ex, Michael Kors, Versace, etc. all claiming worker misclassification.
If you think you are improperly classified and being denied benefits then contact us at Employment and Commerce Law Group. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.