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Misclassification is one of the most widespread issues for Mississippi employees. Employment laws are not always easy for employers to understand or properly follow. If there are discrepancies between your employer’s actions and the law, a professional Mississippi salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer may be able to help you. Your classification as a nonexempt employee versus an independent contractor or salary employee can have a substantial impact on the benefits and legal protections you may receive. Misclassified employees may not receive benefits and protections including a minimum wage, overtime, and workers’ compensation. If you believe you are a misclassified employee, contact a skilled employment lawyer as soon as possible to help fight for the compensation you deserve.
Employers often violate minimum wage laws because they misclassify workers as independent contractors or salary employees who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements. Employers should correct misclassifications whether they are deliberate or a mistake. In the absence of a state minimum wage law, Mississippi employees must follow federal minimum wage standards. Among other employment issues, the Fair Labor Standards Act, or “FLSA,” regulates minimum wage and overtime compensation.
Knowing whether the FLSA applies to an employee is crucial to understanding one’s rights. If the FLSA is not applicable, an employee does not have recourse against their employer for violations of this law. In most instances, a Mississippi employer is in violation of the FLSA if the employer pays a nonexempt employee less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. There are exceptions for tipped employees, student employees, disabled employees, and employees under the age of 20. Reach out to a professional employment lawyer to learn more.
Wage theft may occur when an employee does not receive compensation for overtime hours. If an employee is nonexempt and works more than 40 hours in a week, they should receive overtime at a rate of 1.5 times the normal pay. The U.S. Department of Labor provides clarification to many of the myths surrounding independent contractor status. While many individuals believe they are independent contractors because they signed an agreement or are not on a payroll, this is not always accurate. If someone is an independent contractor but their work and responsibilities more closely resemble that of an employee, they potentially are a misclassified employee. The factors that will determine whether they are in fact an independent contractor include if they have control over their work, if they can provide services provided to other companies, and if they have received job training.
Salary employees who meet certain requirements fall outside the scope of the FLSA. To be exempt they must earn at least $455 per week, receive fixed wages, and perform executive, professional, or administrative job duties.
A skilled Mississippi salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer will have experience in recovering back wages, damages, and attorney’s fees for misclassified employees. If you would like to consult with a Mississippi employment classification attorney, do not hesitate to reach out to schedule your initial consultation today.