Knowing that you cannot be compensated for a workplace injury due to your employment status can be quite frustrating. Whether intentional or not, employee misclassification prevents injured workers can getting workers’ compensation benefits. When this happens to you, your medical bills will be your obligation. If you are not sure whether or not you are technically an employee, you should consult with an injured at work need a lawyer to know your legal classification and possible benefits.
Why Workers May be Classified as Independent Contractors
Under the United States labor laws, workers are categorized into employees and independent contractors. Such categories have strict requirements to ensure the clarity of the nature of one’s employment. However, a lot of employees are misclassified as independent contractors due to the exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. These exemptions include the following: Get ready for the new year by learning about see this helpful guide to workers comp benefits. Find out if you qualify for these valuable benefits!
- Minimum wage and overtime laws. Independent contractors do not earn overtime and do not necessarily get paid minimum wage.
- Benefits. Contractors are not eligible for workers’ comp benefits and employer-sponsored health benefits.
- Discrimination. Contractors can’t file claims with the EEOC due to employment discrimination.
Addressing Employee Misclassification
The FLSA governs all employer/employee relationships. The Department of Labor enforces the law and can investigate and punish instances of employer misconduct in terms of wage abuses that include employee misclassification.
If you think your employer misclassified you, file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division to initiate an investigation. This investigation may include witness interviews, on-site inspections, and documentation subpoenas. If the government agency determines that abuse has taken place, they may file a lawsuit in court for you. This lawsuit can demand compensation for the pay you lost because of the misclassification. An experienced attorney can help you file accurate complaints to increase your chances of initiating a proper investigation.
Employers can face severe consequences for misclassifying workers. To correct the misclassification, you can have the IRs involved. Employers who depend on contractors do not need to pay taxes for such workers and those who misclassify employees to avoid paying taxes can face both jail time and fines, apart from paying you the benefits you deserve.
If your employer did not give you worker’s compensation benefits due to your employment status, a reliable lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your case and the details of your claim. If your employer is misclassifying you as an independent contractor, they are cheating you out of necessary pay and benefits. Your attorney can help you take legal action against your employer and pursue the benefits you are entitled to.