Worker Misclassification 

According to the United States Department of Labor, “[t]he misclassification of employees as independent contractors is one of the most serious problems facing affected workers, employers and the entire economy.” There are more than 10 million independent contractors in the workforce and the Department of Labor believes that as many as 30% are actually employees misclassified as independent contractors.

Workers misclassified as independent contractors are denied critical benefits and protections to which they are entitled as employees, including but not limited to, minimum wages, overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, unpaid federal, state and local income tax withholdings, Social Security and Medicare contributions and workers compensation insurance coverage.

Workers misclassified as independent contractors may also be wrongly denied coverage under employee benefit plans, such as group health, disability and life insurance coverage, as well as contributions to a 401(k) plan or other pension and profit sharing plans. The tests used to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee are complex and differ from law to law. The general rule, however, is that workers are considered employees when someone else controls how and when they work. Independent contractors are in business for themselves and control how and when they perform their work.

If you believe your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, contact the attorneys at McMoran, O’Connor, Bramley & Burns, P.C. to determine your rights.

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