Nashville Independent Contractor Misclassification Attorneys
Your classification as an employee will determine your eligibility for certain protections and benefits under federal law such as minimum wage and overtime. The law generally exempts salaried employees and independent contractors from these requirements.
When employers mistakenly or deliberately misclassify an employee, it can result in the employee receiving wages below the legal minimum wage. Nashville salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyers can help these employees. A Nashville independent contractor misclassification lawyer could advocate for employees’ correct classifications so they can be appropriately compensated. Contact an experienced employment lawyer immediately to begin discussing your case.
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that addresses many employment issues. Nashville employers must abide by the FLSA. In Tennessee, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour as of 2017. This is the same as the current federal minimum wage.
Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees must receive overtime compensation. Employees who have worked more than 40 hours in one week should get overtime compensation equivalent to one and a half times an employee’s normal pay rate. Many employees in Nashville can earn minimum wage and overtime for their work, however independent contractors and salaried employees may not.
Independent Contractors vs. Employees
Unlike employees who work for a company, independent contractors are technically self-employed. As a result, independent contractors are not entitled to receive many of the benefits and protections associated with being an employee such as:
- Workers’ compensation
- Health insurance
- Unemployment benefits
- Employer contributions to Social Security
To determine if a company misclassified an employee as an independent contractor, they can evaluate several factors including how much control they have over their work, whether they use their own equipment for their work, their pay schedule, whether they provide services to other companies, and if they had any job training.
Although misclassifications may be inadvertent, employers have a clear financial motivation to deliberately misclassify an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying out benefits. Even if a misclassification was a genuine mistake, an individual may nonetheless receive back wages or damages. An employer should not be able to reduce their labor costs by misclassifying an employee.
Salaried vs. Hourly Employees
If an employer classified someone as a salaried employee who should be an hourly employee, the employer may be liable for wage theft or other violations of the FLSA. A person’s job duties and weekly salary will determine whether they are exempt as a salaried employee.
Salaried employees, like independent contractors, are exempt from minimum wage requirements. There are many myths regarding the availability of overtime for salaried employees. A misclassification attorney in Nashville can review a specific matter and advise whether someone is legally entitled to receive overtime for their work.
Commonly Misclassified Workers
As a Nashville independent contractor misclassification lawyer knows, there are many misclassified workers. Some professions where misclassification is common are:
- IT workers
- Healthcare workers
- Customer service workers
- Construction workers
- Tipped employees
Help from a Nashville Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawyer
If you believe you are a misclassified employee, you may be able to file a claim. It is unlawful for an employer to demote, threaten, punish, or otherwise harasses you in response to your legitimate claim. This type of behavior is employer retaliation. Employers can face criminal penalties for known violations of the FLSA.
If you would like more information about employee misclassification, contact a Nashville independent contractor misclassification lawyer at Employment and Consumer Law Group as soon as possible. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine how to assist you with your employment matter.