A Lesson in Worker Misclassification: Employees vs. Contractors

| July 9, 2015 | Comments (0)

Employees are Being Wrongly Classified as Contractors

It is estimated that close to 20 percent of all American employers misclassify their employees as “independent contractors,” often for a host of reasons that would only benefit the company.

Worker misclassification usually results in workers being labeled as ‘independent contractors’ instead of ‘employees,’ even though they’re treated as employees for all intents and purposes. Classifying someone as an independent contractor effectively provides them with little to no workplace protections. The practice is illegal, but widespread in the state of Texas.

Employee misclassification goes on unabated because most workers who are victims of the practice may not even realize what their worker classification means in regard to their rights. The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) provides employees certain protections such as workers’ compensation, overtime pay and more, but does no such thing for independent contractors.

In most states, employers are supposed to protect their workers by taking out workers’ compensation premiums on them which help take care of their treatment and rehabilitation costs should they get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation may also pay out a certain amount of money in the form of unpaid wages if a worker falls sick and is unable to report to work for days or weeks at a time. Workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation according to the law. Employers are aware of this, and many choose to take advantage of the system in order to boost profits at the expense of their workers.

A law firm may be able to prove your employment status in court, enabling you to recover the compensation you deserve after an on-the-job injury. Be sure to provide answers to the following questions to your attorney:

  • Did your employer expect you to stick to a certain work protocol such as wearing work uniform or reporting and clocking out at certain times? If yes, you should be considered an employee.
  • Did you invest in a certain specific skillset, and were you expected to invest in materials, labor and equipment for the job?
  • How long did you work with the employer?
  • Did your employer train you prior to you starting to work?
  • Did your employer expect you to attend company meetings and take part in work-related activities?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the items in the list above, our law firm may be able to help you.

Please contact me today at 1-800-ATTORNEY for your free consultation.

Category: Legal Briefs

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