How do I fight employer misclassification?
When you work for a company, it is understandable that one might assume they are classified as an employee. However, this is not always the case, and if you are classified as an independent contractor when you are an employee, or vice-versa, it can lead to you not receiving the salary or benefits that you may be due. Contacting an employment lawyer can be a big help in clarifying your role at work.
Misclassification can happen unintentionally – sometimes the factors one must examine to properly classify a worker as an employee or an independent contractor are not clear. However, the majority of misclassification cases are intentional, and generally occur because an employer wants to avoid paying money that they should owe by rights. Whether to save on unemployment insurance, Social Security tax, workers’ compensation, minimum wage, or overtime payments, an employer is always generally trying to duck out of a bill if they deliberately take the step of misclassifying workers.
When someone is wrongly classified as an independent contractor, it matters because independent contractors will often have a more difficult time receiving the benefits they are entitled to. While New York law does protect independent contractors to some degree, under laws like the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, most other states do not extend benefits like workers’ compensation to independent contractors at all. Still, even though they are protected by law, independent contractors still tend to face more hurdles in asserting their rights.
If you suspect you have been misclassified, you can try to pursue the matter in house, but New York sees the issue as so widespread that a task force has been established. The state Department of Labor, the Attorney General’s office, and several other state officials (plus the New York City Comptroller’s Office) have formed the Joint Enforcement Task Force, and it is to them that one should report this kind of fraud. The task force has the tools and the reach to properly investigate these types of claims.
If your employer is found to have intentionally misclassified employees, the financial penalties can be severe, but in particular, you may be entitled to recover for the benefits you ought to have received and did not (such as costs for missed workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, or 401(k) contributions). Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney can also make a big difference, and help you understand how to navigate this complex issue.
Call A New York Employment Lawyer Today
Misclassification by your employer can cause serious financial problems, especially if you miss out on benefits like healthcare coverage when you might have planned on having it. If you suspect this has happened to you, calling a New York City employment lawyer from Mansell Law, LLC can be the first step toward getting what you deserve. Contact us via our website, or on the phone at 646-921-8900, for a free consultation.