Employers have an obligation to those working for them to maintain a minimally acceptable workplace and working conditions that are conducive for those employed to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. They also have an obligation to pay them properly and on time. Finally it is up to the employer to determine the type of employment given to someone working for them and what legal designation this will mean for the employer and employee.
The differences fall under whether the person is employed as an employee or hired as an independent contractor. Each has their own clearly defined guidelines and employees must get right how they classify workers.
Often employers will misclassify workers in order to take advantage of beneficial tax or benefit situations and other times they simply make a mistakes but it should not hurt the worker. When the two types of workers are misclassified it can mean lots of problems for the worker. An individual can have big problems with their pay, taxes and benefits and these problems will often lead to fines or worse.
If you find yourself in this situation and have been misclassified, you need to contact a reputable law firm in your state to work on your behalf. If you work in New Jersey for instance contact the The Sattiraju Law Firm who are experts in Misclassification Law cases. They can represent you against the employer and the government.
Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Determining whether you were employed accurately as either an employee or an independent contractor comes down to the type of relationship between the employer and you and the control exercised. Here is information for how the IRS defines how you should be classified:
If the employer invests money in equipment and resources that the worker needs to do the specific job, pays for expenses and controls the total amount a person makes during a typical work week this person will likely be considered an employee rather than n independent contractor.
If the employer directs and controls the person’s time, movements and specific duties via specific detailed instruction. And the employer trains and using a system of evaluation that is consistent with other employees, that person is likely an employee rather than an independent contractor.
The type of employment is also based on how the worker and employer perceive their relationship. An independent contractor will likely have a written contract spelling out clearly the relationship between the parties and what it entails. An independent should provide a service to the employer but not be a critical component to the business. Independent contractors should also never receive employee benefits including insurance, and vacation pay. Finally the relationship should have a term for it to qualify as an independent contractor relationship.
Although these guidelines are extensive they are purposely broad to allow for an employer to make a clear distinction between employee and independent contractor.
If you have run into any type of problems because of how you were classified, you should contact an attorney immediately even before you contact the employer who may not give you accurate information about your rights and how to proceed. .