Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawsuit
Some employers may classify their workers as “independent contractors” as opposed to “employees.” The company can benefit from this classification by saving thousands of dollars per worker each year. However, this is generally a bad idea. Some workers don’t always understand that an independent contractor misclassification can also cost them thousands of dollars in overtime pay, health benefits, and paid vacations, but they are quickly figuring it out and suing employers who have done this. When a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor and that worker works more than 40 hours per week, that worker may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the employer seeking unpaid overtime and other damages.
Reasons for Independent Contractor Misclassification
Employers misclassify for a wide range of reasons. While some employers do this in a deliberate effort to reduce payroll taxes and the cost of employee benefits, such as the following:
- Overtime pay
- Health care benefits
- Vacation pay
- Pension plans
- Safety equipment
- Job training
Other reasons companies misclassify their employees as independent contractors do this so they can commit unlawful acts and reduce the risk of being caught. Examples of this can include the following:
- Employing undocumented immigrants
- Preventing access to labor organizers
- Engaging in discriminatory hiring, promotion or termination
- Bypassing minimum wage laws
- Avoiding employee income tax withholding
- Ignoring OSHA job safety rules
Grounds for an Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawsuit
Courts and guidance from the Department Labor has established criteria that help determine whether a worker is an “employee” vs. an “independent contractor.” These criteria can determine if a worker is eligible to file an independent contractor misclassification lawsuit. Some questions that courts evaluate when determining whether a worker is an employee include the following:
- Does my employer have strict controls on my work schedule?
- How much does my employer invest in the equipment or materials I need to complete my job tasks?
- Do the services I provide my employer require any special skills?
- Are the services I provide my employer a vital part of the employer’s business?
- How much do my own actions contribute to how much I receive from the employer?
- Am I free to accept other contracts from other employers, or am I required to work exclusively for the employer?
The answers to these questions can determine whether the company faces liability, including overtime pay that may be owed to employees who have been labeled “independent contractors.”
Cash Awards from an Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawsuit
Workers who have been victimized by an independent contractor misclassification can pursue legal action against an employer. An independent contractor misclassification lawsuit can earn an employee money damages from the employer. Some of the compensation available to a plaintiff in an independent contractor misclassification can include:
- Lost wages
- Overtime wages
- Liquidated damages
- Vacation pay
- Benefits compensation
- Attorneys’ fees
- Costs of court
Know Your Rights in a Contractor Misclassification Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with an independent contractor misclassification lawsuit, contact us today at 346-701-8563. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an independent contractor misclassification lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the form at the top of this page to request a consultation.