Labor Legal Issues
Are You an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
At Ross Law Group, Daniel Ross and our experienced overtime lawyers are dedicated to standing up for workers in America by enforcing overtime and minimum wage laws. The US Department of Labor says that more than 70% of employers violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. Our vast experience in this area of the law and the number of people
who turn to us for help confirm that wage law violations are a widespread problem for American workers.
Under the FLSA, most employees who work more than 40 hours a week are legally entitled to receive overtime pay for the hours over 40 at one and a half times their usual hourly rate. One way that employers illegally avoid paying overtime is by claiming that nonexempt employees are Independent Contractors. A true Independent Contractor is not entitled to overtime pay.
How can you tell if you are an Independent Contractor? Some simple tests are:
--Do you have a special skill?
--Are you selfemployed?
--Do you set your own schedule?
--Do you use your own tools, equipment and materials?
--Do you decide how the work will be done?
If the answers to any of those questions is "no," you may not be an Independent Contractor. If the employer controls the work you do and controls when, where and how you do it, supervises your work, or if the work is ongoing and not just for specific projects, you may be an employee and you may be entitled to overtime pay if you worked more than 40 hours a week.
Some employers misclassify employees intentionally to avoid paying overtime; others are uninformed about the law and how to make a correct determination. Employers can find information about how to properly classify employees on the IRS website.
Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay and Damages?
Overtime law allows employees who should have been paid overtime, but were not, to sue for the money they should have been paid plus the same amount in "liquidated damages." In other words, if the employer should have paid you $1,000, you can receive $2,000 as compensation. The law also requires the employer to pay your attorney fees if you prevail in Court. You can make a claim whether you still work for the employer or not.
If you have worked more than 40 hours a week during the last three years while classified as an Independent Contractor, but you think you may have been an employee, call us for a free consultation at 5124747677 or visit our website for more information about Daniel Ross and our overtime lawyers. Ross Law Group enforces overtime laws for clients in Texas and across the United States.