Texas Independent Contractor Misclassification Attorney
Serving Clients Throughout the United States
Most employees are covered by various employment laws that provide protections and benefits including unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, certain tax contributions, minimum wages, and overtime pay. Since these laws only apply to employees, many companies misclassify their employees as independent contractors to avoid the costs and responsibilities.
If a company withholds taxes from your paycheck and issues you a Form W-2 each year to report your wages and taxes, they are treating you as an employee. If, instead, you do not have taxes withheld and you are issued a Form 1099, you are being treated as an independent contractor—at least for tax purposes. But just because a company issues you a 1099 does NOT necessarily mean you are truly an independent contractor for purposes of various employment laws. Even if you signed an agreement stating that you would work as an independent contractor, not an employee, you may still be misclassified under certain employment laws. Particularly, if the company misclassifies you and does not pay overtime when you work more than 40 hours a week, you may be owed overtime pay.
Contact Our Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawyer
If you believe you may have been misclassified, you should seek qualified legal guidance. Our independent contractor misclassification lawyer can help you explore your legal options if you believe you have been unfairly denied overtime pay. Our team at Fair Labor Law may be able to recover compensation for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and other money damages.
Read below for more information about how to tell whether you have been misclassified as an independent contractor.
Consequences for Independent Contractor Misclassification
When a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, it can have negative consequences for both the worker and the employer. The worker may be denied certain employee benefits, such as healthcare, retirement plans, and workers' compensation insurance, and may be responsible for paying their own payroll taxes. Additionally, they may not be covered by certain labor laws that protect employees.
Employers who misclassify workers as independent contractors may face legal and financial consequences, including fines, penalties, and back pay for taxes and benefits owed to the misclassified workers. Furthermore, they may face lawsuits and damage to their reputation.
How do I Report Independent Contractor Misclassification?
If you suspect that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, it is important to report the misclassification to the relevant government agency. The agency will investigate your claim and determine whether your employer has violated any labor laws.
In the United States, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are responsible for investigating independent contractor misclassification. The DOL enforces misclassification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), while the IRS investigates misclassification under tax laws.
To report independent contractor misclassification, you can reach out to the DOL's Wage and Hour Division or the IRS. It is also advisable to consult an employment lawyer who can guide you on your legal rights and options.
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Recovering Compensation When You Have Been Misclassified as an Independent Contractor
When an employer mistakenly or intentionally misclassifies you as an independent contractor, they in effect deny you what you are owed. Remember, as an independent contractor, you may not be entitled to receive compensation for overtime, meal breaks, or rest periods. Your wages may also be subject to the self-employment tax, and you may not be reimbursed for expenses you incur in the course of performing your job.
If you realize you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you will need to take decisive steps to protect your rights and recover lost compensation. You have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer and recover compensation for unpaid wages and additional money damages. The Fair Labor Standards Act has a default statute of limitations (deadline to file) of two years, which can be extended to three years upon a finding of a willful violation. This means that if you have been denied overtime pay beginning two years ago or more, you may be losing part of the unpaid wages you could claim with each two-year anniversary of a paycheck that passes.
Our firm’s services include comprehensive litigation support, and our independent contractor misclassification lawyer at Fair Labor Law can provide you with the knowledgeable representation you need to succeed. We will work to efficiently advance your claim and seek the maximum compensation available to you in your case.
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