Florida Misclassified Workers Attorney
Have you been denied fair wages and essential benefits because your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor instead of an employee? As a leading Florida employment law firm, Yormak Employment & Disability Law has a successful track record fighting for the rights of misclassified workers.
If you’re facing issues with unpaid wages, misclassification, unfair treatment, or other damages, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Employees vs. Independent Contractors
Employees and independent contractors each have their own set of rules and rights under Florida law. These distinctions greatly affect the benefits and protections afforded to each group.
Below, we’ll delve into some of these key differences to provide a clearer understanding of what each classification entails.
- Protected under employment laws
- Minimum wage requirements
- Overtime requirements
- Unemployment benefits
- May be eligible for vacation time, paid leave, health insurance, retirement plans, workers’ compensation, and other employee benefits
- Not entitled to the same employment law protections as employees
- Not entitled to the same vacation time, paid leave, health insurance, retirement plans, workers’ compensation, and other benefits as employees
Whether you should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor depends on different factors such as how much control is exerted by your employer, the nature of the work performed, and the degree of independence in carrying out tasks.
Why Would an Employer Want to Misclassify an Employee?
Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in significant financial benefits for employers. Here are some reasons why companies might want to misclassify an employee:
Avoid Paying Payroll Taxes
When workers are classified as independent contractors, companies are not responsible for withholding and paying Income, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes. This can save employers a significant amount of money.
Avoid Paying Health Insurance and Other Benefits
By misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor, employers can avoid the expense of providing benefits such as health insurance. This can result in substantial savings for the employer, while workers get way less than they legally deserve.
Avoid Paying Unemployment Benefits When Let Go
When a worker is terminated from their job, they may be entitled to unemployment benefits. Independent contractors are not under the same protections. If workers have been wrongly classified as independent contractors, they won’t be eligible for these benefits.
Avoid Paying Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
Employees have the right to receive at least the minimum wage and are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked beyond a standard 40-hour week. However, some employers sidestep these obligations by categorizing employees as independent contractors. This deprives workers of their rightful earnings and means they might be working extended hours without receiving the additional pay they deserve.
Avoid Paying Medical Leave
Eligible employees are entitled to take unpaid leave for certain medical and family-related reasons. Companies may misclassify a worker to avoid providing them with medical leave benefits.
How the Fair Labor Standards Act Protects Florida Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets standards for minimum wages, overtime, and other job-related matters. It provides important protections for employees in Florida and across the United States.
The FLSA establishes a federal minimum wage that employers must pay their employees. However, if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you might be earning less than the minimum wage required by law.
It’s important to note that Florida’s minimum wage is actually higher than the federal minimum wage established by FLSA and employees in Florida are entitled to this higher minimum wage instead of the federal minimum.
Eligible employees have the right to earn additional pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. This overtime pay should be at least one and a half times their regular hourly rate. However, if you’re misclassified as an independent contractor, you might miss out on this rightful compensation.
Jurisdictions often run what is called an “Economic Reality Test” to determine whether workers have been misclassified as private contractors or not. Criteria such as the degree of independence you have to perform work, the duration of the working relationship, how you are paid, how taxes are handled, and the extent to which your work is an integral part of the employer’s business are significant factors in determining if there was misclassification.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you feel that your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, it’s essential to get expert legal advice. At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, Benjamin Yormak, a Board-Certified Employment Law Specialist, leads our team in fighting for the rights of misclassified workers. Don’t delay in addressing this crucial issue; reach out to us today for a free consultation. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve and that your employment status is correctly established based on Florida law.