Houston Independent Graphic Designers: Is Your Paycheck Unfair?

Working as a graphic designer can be a rewarding experience, especially after you see your finished art work on an important website or print advertisement.

What can be even more rewarding is receiving a paycheck for doing something creative and that you love to do anyway.

But what would happen if you were to discover that you are not being properly compensated for the hard work and effort that you put into the projects? Perhaps you might not feel so rewarded after all.

Unfortunately, this discovery is made by Texan artists all the time, as they realize that they are actually graphic designers misclassified as independent contractors in Houston. Sometimes graphic designers discover they are being paid an unfair wage when they realize that they are not being paid overtime wages for over 40 hours of work in one week. But more often than not, it is actually a misclassification that causes the unfair paychecks.

Companies hire graphic designers on a contract basis all the time. Often hired to design a new website or handle a specific ad campaign, the graphic designer is often deemed an independent contractor instead of an hourly-paid or salaried employee. The employer does not withhold taxes from the designer’s paycheck, but instead issues a 1099 form at the end of the year, leaving it up to the designer to pay his or her own taxes.

While this practice is completely legal, it is only allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act if the employer abides by certain rules, since technically the employer is deeming the designer exempt from the FLSA, and therefore not entitled to overtime wages.

For instance, the employer cannot insist that the independent contractor work certain hours or arrive at work at a specific time. The contractor is not required to manage other employees, nor is he or she required to abide by employee rules about when to take lunch. It is also important for graphic designers to remember that in order for an employer to name you an independent contractor, the work you are performing must not be essential to the success of the company. In other works, if you are doing work that the company cannot live without, then you may be misclassified.

In this tough economy, it is easy to overlook inconsistencies in your job when you are receiving a paycheck. But those inconsistencies can add up, and result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars missing from your paycheck. Learn your rights by contacting the Texas overtime lawyers at Kennedy Hodges immediately at 888.449.2068 for your free consultation and free book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Wage Claim.