Did Your Boss Just Make You an Independent Contractor to Avoid Paying You Overtime?

Reclassified as an Independent Contractor?  Your Boss May be Trying to Avoid Paying You Overtime

Overtime requires employers to pay qualified employees 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.  As you can expect, this can become expensive very quickly for an employer.  This means that employers may end up looking for ways to cut corners to avoid paying these extra expenses.  Sometimes the ways are legal, but other times the ways are not legal.

One of the most common ways for employers to avoid paying overtime wages is for them to reclassify an employee as an independent contractor.  This is because independent contractors have a different set of rules that apply when it comes to the overtime law.  In fact, independent contractors are exempt from overtime, unless the contractor and employer agree to overtime in an agreement.  If your employer just re-classified you as an independent contractor for no reason, call the New York City overtime lawyer at SAMUEL & STEIN to learn what rights you may have to fight back.

Why Would an Employer Re-Classify Me as an Independent Contractor?

Under New York Labor Law s 651, an independent contractor is exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and from New York’s Minimum Wage Orders.  This means that an employer does not have to pay an independent contractor for time and a half.  Another reason why an employer may re-classify an employee as an independent contractor is to avoid having to pay health benefits, a pension, or workers compensation coverage.

What is the Different Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor?

There are many differences between an individual who is classified as an employee and an individual who is classified as an independent contractor.  In fact, there are entire court decisions which just discuss this difference.  Even the highest court in New York, the Court of Appeals, has issued decisions just parsing through the differences between independent contractors and employees.

For the purposes of wage and hour claims, the basic way to determine the status of an individual is control of the employer.  If the employer dictates the work performed, the manner of the work performed, supplies tools and equipments, and has absolute power to hire or fire the individual, it is very likely to be the case that the individual is an employee and not an independent contractor.  This means that the individual will be entitled to overtime wages.

But again, this is a very fact-dependent consideration and there are a lot of thing that must be taken into consideration when determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee.

Not Sure if You are an Employee or Independent Contractor, But Your Boss is Treating You as an Independent Contractor?  Call Us to Learn Your Rights Today!

The experienced New York City overtime attorneys at SAMUEL & STEIN are dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of employers and working people throughout New York and New Jersey.  We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected and you are not taken advantage of.  Call us today by dialing (646) 480-2149 or use the convenient “Evaluate Now” box on our webpage.  Together we can help answer your questions and protect your rights.

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