Independent Contractors Claims

by | Aug 27, 2013 | Wage and Overtime Law

Companies will go to great lengths to save money. I have seen many companies who rely on what they call “independent contractors” but who, in reality, are employees. When this happens, companies may have violated overtime laws, minimum wage laws, or both.

For instance, delivery drivers who are misclassified (and paid) as independent contractors may actually receive less than minimum wage. This can happen when a delivery driver are paid more than the minimum wage, but when either the IRS mileage reimbursement rate (currently at $0.565/mile) or the actual costs of driving a vehicle (gas, tires, insurance, oil and maintenance) are taken into account, the wage actually comes to less then minimum wage. I have seen this situation before and know how to deal with it.

Other times, “independent contractors” are paid by the job, by the piece, or an hourly rate, but are told that they are not entitled to overtime pay because they are independent contractors. I see this happen frequently.

The state and federal courts in Florida use certain criteria to evaluate whether a worker is an “independent contractor” or an employee. This “economic realities” test can be difficult to apply, as each factor is given a different amount of importance.

The FairLaw Firm is experienced in dealing with claims in which workers are misclassified (and paid) as independent contractors instead of as employees. The FairLaw Firm looks at these cases to determine whether any minimum wage or overtime pay violations occurred. If so, then FairLaw Firm is experienced in pursuing the violation in the appropriate court. An employer who violates the minimum wage or overtime laws can be required to pay twice the amount of wages owed, plus the employer usually ends up paying the employee’s legal fees and costs.

Workers also can ask the IRS to re-classify them as employees instead of as independent contractors by submitting an IRS Form SS-8 Request for Reclassification form. If the employee was misclassified according to the IRS, the company will have to deal with the IRS.

The FairLaw Firm is conveniently located in Miami-Dade County and handles cases throughout Florida. At the FairLaw Firm, we assist clients in recovering their hard earned wages. Most of our clients hire us on contingency, meaning that we only get paid unless and after our clients get paid. Since we usually seek to have the employer pay our fees, our clients often pay don’t pay us anything. Contact us to receive a free consultation of your wage claim or submit your online claim evaluation now.

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