Have you been hired as an independent contractor when you should be a company employee? Has your employer forced you to pay expenses that should be covered by the company? These and other cases are instances of employment misclassification and are illegal in Florida and throughout the country. If you believe you have been misclassified by your employer, contact our experienced lawyers at the Fairlaw Firm. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is employment misclassification?
Employment misclassification is an illegal action taken by employers that categorizes their employees as independent contractors rather than company employees. Employers misclassify employees as independent contractors for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons for paying someone as an independent contractor instead of as an employee is financial. By paying a worker as an independent contractor instead of as an employee, the employer shifts the burden of paying taxes entirely to the worker. In addition, employers try to avoid paying overtime wages, minimum wages, and offering workers' compensation insurance to their workers. Employers also misclassify their workers to avoid paying unemployment, so that they can hire undocumented workers, or for other ulterior reasons.
How do I know if I am misclassified?
In addition to illegally paying employees as independent contractors, employers who misclassify their employees also violate the law by failing to pay minimum wages or overtime pay. While the failure to pay overtime wages may be obvious, a violation of the minimum wage law may not be as obvious. Employers who pay their employees as independent contractors require that their workers pay for their own expenses, such as gas, insurance, and wear and tear on their vehicles for drivers, tools and equipment for installers, and so on. These workers feel like they are working for nothing! Deducting these employment-related expenses (called "kickbacks") from the pay received by a misclassified employee can result in an employee receiving less than minimum wage, which can be a violation of the law.
Signs of Employment Misclassification
To review, there are several signs that you may be a victim of employment misclassification. These signs include:
- Not earning minimum wage
- Not earning legal overtime wages
- Working as an independent contractor and not a company employee
The FairLaw Firm: Fighting for Your Rights
At the FairLaw Firm, our office routinely fights for workers who are misclassified as independent contractors instead of as employees. In deciding whether a worker was an employee and entitled to minimum wage or overtime pay, the Courts don't look to the labels assigned by the employer or whether you received a 1099 instead of a W-2. Instead, the Courts take a broader view and look at the "economic realities" of the situation by considering many factors, including the following:
(1) the nature and degree of the alleged employer’s control as to the manner in which the work is to be performed;
(2) the alleged employee’s opportunity for profit or loss depending upon his managerial skill;
(3) the alleged employee’s investment in equipment or materials required for his task, or his employment of workers;
(4) whether the service rendered requires a special skill;
(5) the degree of permanency and duration of the working relationship; and
(6) the extent to which the service rendered is an integral part of the alleged employer’s business.
With decades of combined experience, our attorneys understand how to properly present a case of employment misclassification to the Florida courts. Let us help you receive the compensation you deserve today!
Get the compensation you deserve. Contact the FairLaw Firm today!
If you believe you may be a victim of employment misclassification, contact us now at (866) 281-9288, or at (305) 230-4884 for a free consultation. We handle most cases on contingency.