One facet of employment law covers employees (or contractors) who are owed wages. That can come in many forms. Two examples are the salaried worker owed overtime due to their extensive hours and the waiter whose employer holds their tips.
Other issues may be less apparent. If you are an employee who has been classified as an independent contractor (or the other way around), there are financial implications. Because employers must classify their workers correctly, there could be legal consequences.
The Difference Is Control
Many resources available through the IRS can help employers classify the people they hire. Unfortunately, there is no single way for an employer to choose a classification definitively.
The fundamental difference is control. Imagine hiring someone to travel between points (A & B). If they are your employees, you can tell how they travel. You will likely even provide them the tools to do so. There may include training sessions to help them learn how you want them to accomplish the task.
Whereas with an independent contractor, you merely choose the destination or the result. How they travel along that route is their choice.
What To Do When You Are Misclassified
Your classification is far more important than a box on your taxes. Because the relationship between employer/employee and employer/contractor differs, there are financial implications regarding overtime, benefits, and the money you have been paid (or owed).
Depending on the nature of your position, how long you have been misclassified, you could be owed a significant amount of money. Some people may be hesitant to bring up the issue to a boss or HR because they worry about risking their jobs. As a worker, regardless of classification, you have rights. One of those rights is not having to face retaliation for exercising rights. You bring your concerns to your employer and discover why and how you have been classified.
Due to the complexities, meeting with an employment law attorney is also an appropriate response. Your lawyer can determine if you have been misclassified and suffered economic loss, and help you recover that loss and perhaps more. If necessary the lawyer can draft and file the correct documents with the courts and your employer, along with any required state or federal agencies.
The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor
When you choose The Law Offices of Jason Taylor to represent you and your employment law case, you don’t get an attorney; you receive a legal team—with over 100 years of combined experience. For further information about assisting you, contact us to schedule a free consultation.