Did you know that being classified as an independent contractor can lead to wage theft? If you don’t know whether your employee has misclassified you as an independent contractor, you could be losing money from every paycheck without even realizing it.
Businesses seeking any way to increase profits are sometimes tempted to save money by avoiding paying federal taxes. They do this by categorizing their employees as independent contractors.
To find out if you are one of the many employees misclassified as independent contractors, consider these three factors that affect employee FLSA status: behavioral control, financial control and relationship between employer/employee. Together, these three factors provide valuable insight into the amount of control the employer wields over the employee while performing their job duties.
If an employer controls how an employee completes their work, when the work is completed, where the work is done, what tools are used in completing the work, or how the employee performs the work they retain behavioral control. This can be an indication that the worker is actually an employee.
If an employer controls the worker’s opportunity for financial gain, they are retaining financial control, and this can indicate that the worker is an employee. In comparison, an independent contractor is often free to advertise their services, maintain a location for their own work, and take work from other employers.
If an employer has a contract in place stating that a worker is an independent contractor, this does not necessarily create the relationship described. The actual relationship between the employer and the employee is considered far more significant than any “relationship” indicated by a contract, title or other agreement.
How much control does your employer have over how you perform your job duties or when your work is done? Do you have a supervisor when you are on site? Are you paid by the hour, by salary or by the job? Do your job duties benefit your employer on a long-term/ongoing basis? Have you made a personal investment in the tools or materials that you use to complete your job duties? Do you perform work that is an integral part of your employer’s business?
It isn’t always immediately clear whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor. The facts of your specific work situation, job duties, and relationship to the employer have to be taken into consideration. If you are classified as an independent contractor and feel that you have been misclassified, please get in touch with one of the experienced Atlanta employment law attorneys at Barrett & Farahany.