I Love My Freedom, But My Contract Feels Unfair

I Love My Freedom, But My Contract Feels Unfair

You enjoy all the freedoms of being an independent contractor, whether it’s time management, taxes or the decisiveness of your work. However, one contract you have been accepted seems unfair, one-sided and they are starting to take advantage of you or withholding pay. As an independent contractor, you have rights and to learn what they are, you need an experienced team on your side. Johnson Attorneys Group will fight for your rights and make sure that you are treated fairly and with respect.

My Employer Says I am an Independent Contractor

A common tactic that employers will use is to mislabel employees as independent contractors to limit their liability and ease their tax burden. Under certain laws and guidelines, this can be illegal. If you feel that your employer is illegally requiring you to remain an independent contractor, you owe it to yourself to contact an attorney and learn what your rights are. The trained attorneys at Johnson Attorneys Group will study the details of your case and ensure that you are treated correctly and awarded to every benefit that you are entitled to under the law.

It’s cheaper for an employer to hire an independent contractor than to pay an employee.

With an employee, the company has to pay a worker minimum wage, overtime, and provide meal and rest breaks and contribute 6.2 percent to the employee’s social security benefits as well as other benefits. Because of this, it makes more financial sense to pay an independent contractor a flat rate or hourly fee without all that extra cost.

The good news is it’s not up to an employer to determine whether or not you are an independent contractor. The relationship between a worker and an employer is determined by law and it is unlawful for an employer to designate your status. There is actually a legal test that determines whether you are an independent contractor or an employee. The distinction is important because it greatly impacts your rights in the workplace.

The employer must prove the following:

The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact:

  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.
  • Should the business fail to confirm all three prongs of this test, the state will consider the worker an employee of the company. This test is not up for argument and it’s a done deal.

Rights for Employees v. Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are protected by a state’s contract law because they are generally under contract with a company to provide a service or product. In contrast, employees are protected under state and federal employment laws.

To understand why an employer may misclassify a worker as an independent contractor, here are some protections that do not apply to them:

  • Under the FLSA, the independent contractor has no rights to overtime or the minimum wage.
  • Only employees are protected against unlawful discrimination and retaliation as outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Americans with Disabilities Act; The Equal Pay Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Family Medical Leave Act; and more.
  • Most whistleblower statutes do not apply to independent contractors.
  • No unemployment insurance.
  • No workers compensation if they are hurt on the job.
  • Employers who hire independent contractors do not have to verify whether or not they are legally entitled to work in the United States. This may allow them to exploit low-wage migrant workers. Violations and abuse experienced by migrant workers is typically not reported due to fear of deportation.
  • The National Labor Relations Act does not apply to independent contractors so they are not entitled to organize or form a union.

Once you have determined whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, make sure you fill out the correct forms. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides two separate forms. The employee fills out a W2 and the contractor has a Form 1099.

If you believe that your employer has wrongly classified you as an independent contractor, it’s important that you notify us to get help.

Contact Our California Employment Law Firm

We at Johnson Attorneys Group understand that this may be a difficult time in your life and we are here to help. Our lawyers would like to discuss your potential case. We offer a free initial consultation where we can go over your employment issues. If we decide to take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any fees unless you win or recover compensation. Call us at 800-235-6801 for help.

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