Independent Contractors

Employers commonly attempt to classify workers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees,” because independent contractors receive far fewer protections under state and federal law than employees, most importantly the right to overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Regardless of what your employers calls you, the biggest question is whether you, as a worker, are within the direct control of the company or in business for yourself.

To determine whether you have been improperly classified as an independent contractor, try to answer the following questions: (1) What is the degree of your employer’s control over you? (2) What is your opportunity, if any, for profit and less? (3) Does the performance of your work require independent initiative, or are your job duties laid out for you? (4) How long and/or permanent is your working relationship with your employer? (5) Is your work an “integral” part of the company’s business? Depending on those and other circumstances, you may be improperly classified. Past courts have determined that the following types of workers, among others, are often misclassified as independent contractors: limousine drivers, nurses, garment workers, waiters, home health care aides, welders, laundry operators, ambulance dispatchers, and parking valets.

If you feel you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor and are due unpaid overtime, call the attorneys of Pelton & Associates, PC today to discuss a possible lawsuit.

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