Because labor laws pertain to only certain categories of workers, some employers try to exploit their workers by "misclassifying" the job they perform.
With the recent fixation on Uber and the "gig economy", some employers try to avoid having to comply with wage laws by claiming that an employee is actually an "independent contractor". However, according to the law, an employer's labels of their employees are meaningless. Simply because an employer gives you a Form 1099 instead of a Form W-2 for your taxes does not mean you've been transformed into an "independent contractor". Rather, there are very specific legal requirements. As such, you cannot simply take your employer's word for it. Conceptually, an "employee" performs the work OF the business (e.g., a store clerk), while an "independent contractor" performs FOR the business (e..g., a plumber hired to fix the store's toilet). While none of them are themselves decisive, several factors which are examined by courts in determining whether a worker is an "employee" or an "independent contractor" include:
whether the worker may work for competitors
whether the quality of the work performed is controlled by the employer
whether the worker can set his/her own hours
whether the worker can set his/her own pay rate
whether the employer provides the means to perform the work
whether the worker can be subject to discipline
If you would like to see whether or not this, or other labor law protections, may apply to you, please click the button below to take the anonymous survey below, and one of the attorneys at the Law Office of Michael W. Wynn will get back to you regarding your options.
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