Misclassification occurs when an employer incorrectly categorizes an employee as an independent contractor. This distinction holds significant implications for both parties involved.
You must know your legal rights, particularly when it comes to the issue of misclassification.
Employee vs. independent contractor
First and foremost, know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. Employees work under the direction of the employer. The company dictates the work hours, tasks and methods. On the other hand, independent contractors have more autonomy and control over their work. They often provide services on a project basis.
Key rights of employees
As an employee, you have certain rights and benefits that independent contractors may not have. These rights include, but are not limited to:
- Minimum wage and overtime pay
- Employment benefits such as paid time off, retirement plans and health insurance
- Tax withholding for income taxes and Social Security contributions
You have legal options if your work misclassifies you as an independent contractor when you should have an employee classification.
Consequences for employers
According to a report, nine out of ten employers inspected in California in 2017-2018 did not comply with the state’s laws about misclassification. You can seek back pay for any wages or benefits denied due to misclassification. Your boss can also face legal penalties and fines for violating employment laws.
If you believe your employer misclassified you, take action. Contact your state labor department to report the issue and seek guidance on correcting the situation. Understanding your legal rights helps ensure fair treatment in the workplace.