Commonly Asked Questions About the Misidentification of Independent Contractors

Have questions about your legal matter and are afraid to ask? If so, head on over to our FAQ section in which we tackle a variety of important topics that matter to you. Find answers to questions regarding car accidents, medical malpractice, unpaid overtime, and a variety of other legal subjects that may be affecting you. 
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  • I’m confused as to whether or not I’m entitled to overtime, how do I know if I’m an independent contractor or an employee?

    Question Mark Clouds Floating in a Blue SkyWorking in the oil and gas industry often requires extra hours over and above the standard 40-hour work week. This is a demanding industry that demands a strong work ethic and commitment to the job. Many oil and gas workers do an excellent job of fulfilling their commitments. Unfortunately, some employers try to avoid compensating workers fairly for the overtime hours that they put in by misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees.

    6 Questions to Determine Independent Contractor Status

    Determining whether you are an independent contractor as opposed to an employee is not always black and white, especially if you do not have experience with this area of the law. To help determine whether you are an independent contractor or an employee, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Do you typically work without supervision?
    2. Do you use your own tools?
    3. Do you work with more than one company or client at a time?
    4. Do your earnings depend greatly on your own managerial skills and your productiveness, as opposed to the success of the company you are working with?
    5. Are you typically told which job site to report to?
    6. Do you decide which projects to take on?

    If the answers to the above questions are no, chances are good that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor. As a result, you may be entitled to overtime pay. It is important to consult with an attorney to learn more about your legal rights as an oil and gas worker. We encourage you to reach out today for more information at (888) 449-2068.

     

  • My boss said I am an independent contractor and doesn't deduct any payroll taxes from my check, but I feel I am an employee - what do I do?

    Misclassifying workers as independent contractors is one of the oldest tricks in the dirty employer's handbook. Employees are duped into believing they are better off due to no withholding, but they are penalized at the back end.

    What's the difference between an Employee and an Independent Contractor?

    As an independent contractor:

    • you are not paid overtime,
    • you are responsible for paying your own FICA taxes,
    • you do not get sick days, vacation time, or health benefits.

    Learn why no witholding on your paycheck can hurt you at tax time.

    If you are unsure if you've been misclassified it's worth it to have our employment lawyers do a free review of your job duties. Many times we find that an employee is being paid incorrectly. Order our free  wage and overtime guide to learn answers to your questions. Call 888-449-2068 to order your free book today, or fill out our online form.

     

  • How can I tell if I’m classified as an independent contractor?

    There are a few major ways to tell if you’re currently classified as an independent contractor with the company you work for, including:

    • You signed a contractor agreement and receive a 1099 form for tax purposes.
    • You are paid by the project instead of by the hour or on a salary.
    • You do not receive employee benefits such as overtime pay, vacation time, sick time, etc.

    If you have any questions about how you are classified as an employee, our team would be happy to help you determine if you are an independent contractor and what that might mean in relation to your wages and benefits.

    You May Be Classified as an Independent Contractor—But Should You Be?

    Unfortunately, simply finding out that your employer has classified you as a contractor may not answer all of your questions about your paycheck. Many employees are actually misclassified as independent contractors by their employers and should be paid as full employees. While these misclassified contractors miss out on overtime pay and other employee benefits, they do not actually meet the legal requirements for the contractor status their employers are using.

    If you’ve determined that you are classified as an independent contractor but aren’t sure if should be, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for answers. Our law firm has successfully recovered overtime pay for misclassified independent contractors across the nation. If you are ready to take action to claim the pay you deserve, give our friendly team a call today, or simply fill out the confidential contact form on this page.

  • Can a Worker Be an Employee AND an Independent Contractor?

    Some employers avoid paying overtime pay by counting the same worker as both an employee and as an independent contractor. How can this happen? Here are two examples.

    A chiropractor hires a massage therapist. The therapist is considered a part-time employee for the first part of the day. The person gives massages and does some filing. The rest of the day, she does massages only. But, she does not set her own rate for the massages, set her own hours, use her own supplies, or bring her own clients. Given the control the chiropractor exerts over the worker, she should be considered an employee. But, under this arrangement, the employer not only gets away with not paying benefits since the worker is “part-time” (even though she works more than 40 hours a week!), but the company doesn’t have to pay overtime wages, either.

    The company hires a bookkeeper as an employee. Her regular hours are 8-5, Monday-Friday. But, it’s necessary for the bookkeeper to work two weekends each month. The company considers her an independent contractor for the work she performs on Saturdays and Sundays. So, even though she performs the exact same work, she does not get overtime pay because she’s not working “as an employee” on the weekends.

    If your company tries to get you to do double-time as both an employee and an independent contractor, consult with a Maryland wage lawyer. Contact the Maryland overtime attorneys at Kennedy Hodges by calling 888.449.2068 or by filling out our online form.