Employees in New Jersey – and throughout the United States – are entitled to enjoy certain rights. Independent contractors, self-employed workers who trade certain workplace protections and perks for greater control over their livelihoods, are not entitled to these legally mandated rights. These rights, like the right to unpaid time off for personal and family medical needs under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and the right to overtime pay, can be expensive for employers. This financial burden entices many employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors, which robs employees of certain protections and subject them to significant financial strain.
The Differences Between Independent Contractors and Employees
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines an independent contractor as a worker who:
- Controls how he or she performs the job he or she has been contracted to complete;
- Handles certain financial aspects of the job like paying for equipment used and paying taxes on income earned; and
- Does not have an expectation of an ongoing relationship with the employer.
Basically, an independent contractor is a worker who is self-employed and works with clients on a contractual basis. One common way to differentiate between an employee and an independent contractor is to determine whether the employer provides the worker’s sole or primary source of income or if the worker has multiple clients and does not rely on the employer to earn a living. Employees, on the other hand, may be required to perform their job duties a specific way and during specific time periods as determined by the employer. In an employee/employer relationship, the employer must comply with certain requirements like paying the employee at least the state minimum wage of $8.85 per hour and complying with laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
Taking Action To Rectify Your Misclassification
When an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, he or she loses certain perks and protections. These perks and protections can cause the employee to suffer financial setbacks, like forcing him or her to pay for short term disability expenses out of pocket and leaving him or her with no legal recourse after a wrongful termination. They can also leave an employee facing a significant tax bill.
Take the documentation you have showing you listed as an independent contractor to your company’s Human Resources department to have the issue corrected. If your employer cannot or will not rectify the situation internally, an experienced employment lawyer can work with you to file a misclassification claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Work With An Experienced Wall Township Misclassified Workers Attorney
The Sattiraju Law Firm PC is one of New York and New Jersey’s premier employment law firms. Our dedicated Monmouth County misclassified workers attorney has successfully tried many high stakes lawsuits for hardworking people in New Jersey and New York, including the largest employment law verdict in New Jersey history. Contact our office now to schedule your free initial consultation in our office and start learning more about your rights as a misclassified employee.