Independent Contractor Misclassification
By Gregory Thyberg on January 25, 2018
Under the United States Department of Labor, employees are protected by state and federal laws regarding issues such as hours, wages, discrimination and wrongful termination. However, countless businesses get around these regulations by classifying individuals as independent contractors, rather than employees. Sadly, many times, these workers are misclassified and are denied the rights and protections they are due under employment laws. Attorney Gregory A. Thyberg has substantial experience representing clients in wage & hour disputes related to unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and neglect to provide unemployment insurance or medical leave as a result of employee misclassification. Individuals who believe they are victims of independent contractor misclassification can work with our Sacramento, CA, legal team to ensure their rights as employees are protected.
Are you an Employee?
An independent contractor is not protected by the same laws as regular employees. Independent contractors are denied many crucial worker’s benefits, including minimum and overtime wages, unemployment insurance, and medical leave. Oftentimes when a worker agrees to be taken on as an independent contractor, they do not realize what that classification means. This misclassification hurts the individual worker as well as the overall economy. But how does one know if they are misclassified as an independent contractor? Following are some of the standards used to determine whether an individual is a regular employee or a contractor:
- How integral the work is to the employer’s business: If a worker is providing services that are a regular part of the business’s production process, or a service that is a main part of the business’s offerings, then the worker should likely be considered a regular employee.
- The permanency of the work: If work is being provided on a permanent or indefinite basis, the worker should likely be classified as a regular employee as opposed to an independent contractor.
- The degree of employer control: An independent contractor should have control over many key factors of their work agreement, including pay, work hours, and whether they are free to work for others. The more control that an employer has over issues such as these, the more likely it is that the worker should be classified an as an employee.
These are just some of the many factors that may be taken into consideration when claiming that a worker has been wrongfully classified as an independent contractor.
What are My Rights as an Employee?
Even if a worker has signed an independent contract agreement, they have a right to protection under employment laws if they should rightfully be classified as a regular employee. Regular employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage, they must be paid overtime per federal and state regulations, and they are due benefits such as unemployment insurance and medical leave. If a worker has been denied any of these rights or benefits as a result of misclassification, they can file a dispute. Gregory Thyberg and his legal team can provide legal representation in a misclassification dispute.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully misclassified as an independent contractor and would like to learn more about your rights under employment laws, contact us at your earliest convenience. Attorney Gregory Thyberg will listen to the details of your case and advice you of your right to financial compensation. We look forward to hearing from you!