Independent Contractors & Employee Misclassification
Most employees work hard at their jobs and do their best to meet an employer’s requirements and expectations. In some unfortunate circumstances, however, the employer does not share this perspective. There is an elaborate network of state and federal laws that apply to the wages that an employer must pay an employee. Many employers try to find loopholes around these rules in order to spend less money on their labor force. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City attorneys provide legal guidance to employees victimized by wage violations or other wrongful practices in the workplace.How to Know When your Employer is Misclassifying You
Employer misclassification occurs when an employer treats individuals as if they are independent contractors when they are actually employees. According to the United States Department of Labor, “the misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and the entire economy.” Most importantly, an employer is not required to provide an independent contractor with the same benefits and protections as employees, including medical leave, overtime, unemployment insurance, and minimum wage protections.
An independent contractor is free from an employer’s supervision, direction, and control. An independent contractor can be identified by several criteria. For example, they typically have their own businesses, take out their own advertisements, use their own logo and marketing materials, and carry their own insurance. They also tend to pay their own expenses, set their own schedule, maintain an independent place of business, and retain the freedom to refuse work assignments.
The United States Department of Labor has launched a Misclassification Initiative in order to protect employees’ rights and prevent employers from abusing the labor system through misclassification. The Department has agreed to partner with the Internal Revenue Service in order to share information and investigate incidences of potential misclassification abuse. State-level associations have also joined in the effort to ensure that employees receive the benefits and support that they need.
An employer that is caught misclassifying employees in order to circumvent wage and hour laws may face severe penalties and fines. An employee who brings a successful action against an employer engaging in misclassification abuse may be able to receive a broad range of remedies. These often include unpaid wages and overtime compensation, in addition to monetary damages.Contact a New York City Attorney to Hold an Employer Accountable
If your employer is paying you as an independent contractor, and you think that you deserve the same treatment as an employee, the wage and hour lawyers at Phillips & Associates can help you bring a claim based on employee misclassification in New York City. Our team of legal professionals can help you investigate your case and gather the evidence you need to assert your rights against your employer. We have helped many individuals from throughout the five boroughs of the city, including in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Call us at 1-212-248-7431 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
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