The fair labor laws pertaining to hours and wages might seem straightforward. Some people think its as simple as ensuring that you’re able to clock in, work, clock out, and get paid regularly for that work. But the law is full of nuances that could have a significant impact on your, your job, and your wages. This week, let’s just briefly look at employee classification.
The importance of employee classification
You may have heard a lot of noise in the media recently about rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft classifying their employees as independent contractors and whether that was proper. It’s a big issue because independent contractors are not granted the same legal protections as employees, such as access to paid and federally protected leave. To start, they are not provided any benefits and they have to pay double taxes on income earned since the “employer” will not pay its share.
How classification works
When determining whether a worker is an employee rather than an independent contractor, a court typically looks at a number of factors, which means you should consider these factors if you think that you’ve been misclassified and therefore have lost out on significant benefits and pay. Here are some of those factors:
- How important the workers duties are to the business’s operations
- How permanent the work relationship is between the worker and the business
- The amount of control that the business has over the individual’s work
- The individual’s opportunity for profit and loss
- Just how independent the business’s organization and operations are from the individual worker
Of course, there are some characteristics that won’t affect classification, such as where work is performed, so you’ll really want to have a grasp on the law before proceeding with your claim.
Standing up for your rights
Employee misclassification and other violations of the fair labor laws are more rampant than you might think. The construction industry sees this issue a lot of times, which means that workers are often left without the protections, benefits, and pay that they deserve. If you feel like you’re in this position, then you might want to think about contacting a legal professional who knows how to stand up and fight for your rights.