Many Employers in Industries Such as Medicine, Mental Health, Construction, Transportation, and Finance Owe Overtime to Misclassified “Independent Contractors”
Some employers call them “Independent Contractors,” and in some industries, they call them “Per Diem,” or “Field Workers,”– but the result is always the same: Workers putting in long hours and not receiving time-and-a-half wages for overtime hours worked.
The workers usually are led to believe that, because they are called “independent contractors,” they are not entitled to overtime pay. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the wage and hour laws in many states say that these workers are, in fact, employees entitled to overtime, even if the employer called the worker an “independent contractor.”
Whether a worker should have been regarded as an employee entitled to overtime, and not an independent contractor, comes down to an evaluation of several factors: 1) whether the work is essential to the employer’s core business, and 2) the degree of control the employer exercise over the worker.
As to the first factor, for example, a worker who performs medical services for a medical service company drives for a transportation company or builds for a construction company – those workers are most likely employees entitled to overtime.
The second factor above comes down to how much control the employer has over the work performed. For example, if a healthcare worker is hired by a company as an independent contractor, they may nonetheless be employees entitled to overtime if:
• The worker is required to work at the location employer’s
• The worker must use forms and procedures provided by the employer
• The worker is subject to specific time constraints such as when the work is performed, or the number of hours required per week
• The worker is required to obtain permission for time off
• The employer requires the worker to attend staff meetings
• The employer has a continuing education requirement for the worker
If your employer classifies you as an independent contractor, you may in the eyes of the law really be an employee entitled to overtime wages for hours you worked over 40 per week in the past 3 years, as well as other benefits and damages.
If you have questions about your rights or would like to discuss these unpaid overtime claims and damages, please click here to complete our Contact Us form, and a member of our law firm will contact you.
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