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Many employers intentionally misclassify their employees because it allows them pay them less. The absence of an obligation to pay overtime and other benefits can greatly reduce operating costs for a company. If you suspect you are a misclassified employee, a Georgia independent contractor misclassification lawyer may be able to represent you in your employment matter. Contact an established employment attorney right away.
Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enjoy many benefits under the law including minimum wage and overtime. Certain employees are exempt under this law and therefore cannot receive its benefits and protections.
The current minimum wage in Georgia is $5.15 per hour. This is significantly lower than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. When an employee is covered under the FLSA, they can receive the federal minimum wage if it is higher than the minimum wage available in their state.
If the state minimum wage is higher, they would be able to receive that higher amount. The discrepancy between these figures is a big incentive for Georgia employers to try and classify their workers as exempt. Non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week must earn one and a half times their typical pay rate in overtime.
Many independent contractors are misclassified employees. Whether someone should be an independent contractor depends on several factors. Independent contractors should be able to work autonomously without direction from others and obtain income from multiple employers. Independent contracts should have their own business entity and equipment. The nonexistence of these features may indicate that they are in fact an employee and not an independent contractor. For more information on how to determine someone’s role in a business, individuals should speak with a Georgia independent contractor misclassification lawyer right away.
Properly exempt salaried employees must earn a minimum salary of $455 per week. There are also requirements regarding the job functions exempt employees must perform. These job duties fall into three main categories:
To be exempt under the executive category, someone must work in a managerial role with the authority to hire or fire employees and be responsible for supervising at least two other full-time workers. The professional exemption applies to doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other such workers whose job requires specialized knowledge and training as well as the use of professional judgment.
For an employee to fall under the administrative exemption, they should be in a position where they exercise their independent judgment and perform office or non-manual work connected to business operations. Salaried employees are exempt from overtime, so they do not receive time and a half for working more than 40 hours per week.
Wage theft occurs when an employer purposely misclassifies you as an independent contractor or salaried employee. When you are a victim of wage theft, you do not receive your lawful wages, but through civil action you may be able to receive back wages.
The federal minimum wage applies to most Georgia employees. If you are not earning the federal minimum wage or overtime, contact a Georgia salary & independent contractor misclassification lawyer to have your case reviewed by a Georgia independent contractor misclassification lawyer.