Employers can choose to hire employees or independent contractors. However, employers do not get to choose how to define those separate designations. Instead, the United States Department of Labor provides factors that will detail whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor.

Independent contractors do not have the same legal protections, minimum wage guarantees, overtime pay, and benefits as employees. Employers can save money by designating a person as an independent contractor because they do not need to provide all of these benefits.

Being misclassified as an independent contractor can cheat Chardon workers out of the benefits and pay they deserve. If you believe your employer improperly designated you an independent contractor when you are working as an employee, you may need legal assistance to help you fight for your important legal rights.

Classifications of Employees Versus Independent Contractors

In general, employers do not have as much control over independent contractors as they do over their employees. The law provides factors that detail the independent contractor classification, which a skilled attorney in Chardon could help further explain:

Work that is Essential to an Employer’s Business

If a person performs a job integral to the company’s business, there is a better chance the worker is an employee rather than an independent contractor.

Profit and Loss Opportunities

Employees will recover their salary or hourly rate regardless of whether their workplace endeavor succeeds. Independent contractors will assume financial risks when they engage in agreements with businesses.

Pay for Equipment and Facilities

If the company provides workplace facilities and equipment, this may indicate the person is an employee instead of an independent contractor. Workers who are independent contractors should be providing their own facilities because they are their own businesses.

The Skill and Initiative of the Worker

An independent contractor should have independent business judgment. While employees and independent contractors are both likely skilled in their fields, if the company has significant control over how the worker carries out his or her tasks, the person is less likely to be an independent contractor for the purposes of employment law.

The Permanence of the Worker’s Relationship to the Employer

If the relationship is permanent and there’s no definite point when the relationship will likely terminate, the individual may be an employee. If an employer hires a worker for a specific project, the individual is more likely an independent contractor.

Employer Control

If the employer sets work hours, details how the worker must perform his or her job, states whether the worker can hire others to help with the project, and otherwise exerts significant control, the person might be an employee, not an independent contractor.

Training

Companies hire independent contractors for skills they already have and do not typically train these individuals for their positions.

Working for Multiple Companies

Independent contractors will often work for multiple companies. If an employer expects an individual to work just for them, that person is more likely to be considered an employee.

Ability to Terminate the Relationship

Employers can fire employees, and employees can quit. Independent contractors will have a contract to complete a job for a company. As such, terminating the relationship can be considered a breach of contract.

Recovering Losses

When employers misclassify employees as independent contractors, the employees lose out on significant work-related benefits. Some related losses include the following:

  • Workers’ Compensation Benefits
  • Minimum Wages
  • Overtime Pay
  • Social Security Contributions

Misclassified employees can hold their employers accountable and recover damages. Individuals misclassified as independent contractors should speak to a Chardon lawyer about their legal options.

Hire a Skilled Chardon Lawyer for Your Independent Contractor Misclassification Case

As a worker, you are entitled to certain legal rights, but companies sometimes violate the rights of the individuals they rely upon to succeed.

If your employer failed to properly compensate you by misclassifying you as an independent contractor, you could be eligible to collect damages, including back pay for your losses of benefits or earnings period. Contact a Chardon independent contractor misclassification attorney to discuss your claim.

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