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Wage & Hour

Independent Contractors

Companies cannot legally avoid paying workers overtime and minimum wages simply because they call workers "independent contractors." Our wage and hour attorneys have represented thousands of workers challenging such misclassification and asserting their right to fair wages.

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Independent Contractor Details

True independent contractors are typically in business for themselves and work various jobs on a contract basis. Some companies hire workers and call them independent contractors even though they are not, and this often results in a failure to pay minimum wages and overtime premiums, and the denial of other workplace benefits, such as payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance. As a result, businesses that use contractors rather than traditional employees save a lot of money to the detriment of workers.

Regardless of what you are called, you may qualify as an employee entitled to overtime pay and minimum wages. This may be true even if you signed an independent contractor agreement consenting to contractor status.

Your legal classification is dependent upon the weighing of several factors including the degree of control your employer exercises over your work, your investment in the business, your opportunity for profit or loss beyond your regular wage, your reliance on a specialized skill, the permanency of your working relationship, and the extent to which your work is integral to the employer’s business. Our lawyers can help you determine whether you may have been improperly classified as an independent contractor, and whether you have a claim for additional overtime pay or minimum wages.

Examples of Independent Contractor Misclassification

The following are examples of workers who may be misclassified as independent contractors:

  • A private duty nurse who provides in-home patient care through a home-care agency when the nurse receives a set hourly wage, works a set schedule, receives agency training and direction, is subject to agency policies and procedures, works for a continuous duration of time rather than on a project basis, and does not supply her own equipment or materials.
  • An oilfield worker paid on a day rate basis through a staffing agency, who primarily works long hours at the direction and under the supervision of the operating company.
  • An exotic dancer who must work a minimum number of shifts, is actively supervised, attends staff meetings, is subject to club rules, is fined for violating policies, does not supply equipment or materials beyond costumes and makeup, and works continuously at the same club.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Read full Disclaimer.

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