Earning money in exchange for doing something you enjoy can feel great until you realize that misclassification has drastically impacted your income. Knowing how to identify misclassification can help you protect your rights and your career.
A great starting point to verifying the accuracy of your employment classification is to take a closer look at your contract. Compare your experiences with the description of your job to identify discrepancies.
Employee vs. independent contractor
Specific working conditions and contingencies must apply for you to qualify for employee status. If you qualify as an employee, but your employer classifies you as an independent contractor, you could lose out on a lot of opportunities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you qualify as an employee if the following conditions apply:
- You work for one employer rather than serving multiple clients
- You work for someone else’s business and not your own
- You complete assigned tasks rather than determining your own tasks
- You have a continuous relationship with your employer rather than one contingent on a temporary job
- You use your employer’s tools and resources rather than your own
- You receive an hourly rate or salary rather than receiving pay per project
Lost benefits and wages
Misclassification can have many repercussions for you including lost wages and benefits. For example, if your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor, you could lose out on health insurance, stock options and retirement benefits. You may also not receive PTO or fair compensation for overtime.
If you have suffered because of a misclassification issue, you deserve compensation that matches your contribution. An attorney can guide you through the legalities of changing your employment status.