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Misclassification as an Independent Contractor

Our Firm Corrects the Wrongs Caused by Misclassification of Independent Contractors in Atlanta

Helping you recover compensation for unpaid wages and benefits

Companies often consider creative cost-cutting measures to save money. Payroll and benefits are typically a business’s biggest expenses, so eliminating workers is one potential means of saving money, but employers still need a workforce. Independent contractors provide a compromise. However, calling workers independent contractors instead of employees may violate the FLSA.

Whereas businesses must pay contract workers (independent contractors) an hourly or per-project fee, they can avoid payroll Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes and reduce workers compensation premiums. In addition, independent contractors are not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other federal hours, wages, overtime, health insurance and working conditions regulations, as are nonexempt employees.

DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC exclusively handles employment and labor law cases for workers. Our goal is to achieve fairness in the workplace. Independent contractors serve a valuable function and, in return, can build lucrative, secure careers. Unfortunately, the title often masks the true nature of a job that allows employers to take advantage of people who are just trying to make a living and are not legitimately independent contractors.

Are you an independent contractor?

Just because your employment contract says you are an independent contractor does not mean you are one. The line between independent contractor and employee may be blurred, but the financial consequences may be substantial. The primary criteria the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) use to determine whether you are an independent contractor is whether you perform services that are not controlled by your employer, as indicated by these factors:

  • Behavior — You decide what you will do and how you will do it.
  • Finances — You made a significant investment in equipment and other business aspects, your expenses are typically unreimbursed, you are at risk of loss and have the opportunity for profit, and your services are available on the market.
  • Relationship — Your written contract specifies that you are an independent contractor, that you are not entitled to benefits, that the length of your relationship is indefinite and that your services are not key aspects of your employer’s business.

Even if you satisfy a substantial number of these characteristics, you may still be considered an employee. In fact, the analysis can be so confusing that your employer’s misclassification may be an honest mistake. However, if you suffered losses as a result, your employer should still be held accountable.

Our employment law attorneys have decades of combined experience evaluating employer-worker relationships. We fully investigate the details of your unique circumstances to classify you properly. We then take decisive steps to recover the unpaid wages and benefits your employer owes you and make sure that your employer treats you justly in the future.

Learn how misclassification can affect your rights and what you can do about it

For more information about employee and independent contractor classifications, contact DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC. Call us at 470-443-0524 or contact us online to schedule your free initial telephone appointment with our skilled attorneys. Our office has free parking available and is ADA accessible.

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