The Department of Labor has had to step up efforts in recent years to catch employers who misclassified workers as independent contractors. In a two-year period, more than $18 million was collected for employees who had been told they were independent contractors. This type of misclassification is very common. It has tax implications and a strong impact on employee rights. Being classified as an independent contractor can put you in a difficult position and cost you more than just lost wages.
At Costello & Mains, LLC, our employment lawyers are committed to helping workers assert their rights. We are a trial law firm. We have taken many businesses to court, including some of the largest employers in the United States. We do not back down from a fight when it can serve our clients' interests. If you have been classified as an independent contractor, but believe you are really an employee, we can help you. Call us at 856-291-0642 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.
Am I An Independent Contractor Or An Employee?
This is highly dependent on your individual working situation. It requires a careful analysis of the totality of your working relationship. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor looks at several things in analyzing whether a worker is properly classified, including:
- How vital your work is to the employer's business
- Whether your managerial skills affect your opportunity for profit
- How much you invest in facilities and equipment and how much your employer invests
- Your skill and initiative
- How permanent or definite your relationship with the employer is
- The nature and degree of control your employer exercises over you
If you perform a vital function, have little control over the nature or timing of your work, are provided all your equipment by the employer, have a long-term understanding with your employer and go where and when you are ordered, you're likely an employee. Most cases have some factors that favor employee status and some that favor independent contractor status. It takes skill and experience to show that you deserve the rights guaranteed to all employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Written Agreements Do Not Change Your Status
Employers are notorious for trying to get out of the requirements of labor laws through contracts. You cannot sign away your right to overtime, your right to minimum wage, or your right to claim the rights of any employee. Signing an independent contractor agreement does not change the working realities of your situation. If you are an employee, you cannot sign away your right to basic employee rights, including family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wages and unemployment benefits.
Protection For Workers Misclassified As Independent Contractors
We are proud to protect the rights of workers. Please contact us right away to discuss your concerns in a confidential and free case evaluation. We can help you secure the rights you deserve.