Employee Misclassification: An Overlooked Form Of Discrimination

Law Blog

Discrimination in the workplace is often thought of as being overt in nature. Someone being fired for their race or religion, or an employee being overlooked for a promotion on the basis of gender — these are examples of overt discrimination.

It's important to recognize that discrimination can sometimes be harder to spot. Employee misclassification is one example of a discriminatory practice that often goes overlooked, but can have negative consequences for workers. One of the reasons that employee misclassification goes overlooked is because those who suffer from this type of discrimination don't understand why misclassification is an issue. 

Employee Classification — Why it Matters

An employer is responsible for classifying each of the individuals that they do business with on a regular basis. Employees are in a different classification than contractors, and these two classifications are afforded different rights and benefits. It is these differences that employers can use to discriminate against contractors over time.

Employee vs. Contractor

Employees who are classified as such are afforded protection under the labor laws of the jurisdiction in which their employer is located. This means that employees must be given access to overtime pay, reimbursed for travel expenses, and allowed to participate in company retirement programs.

Contractors are not entitled to any of these benefits. It is more affordable for a company to classify workers as contractors to avoid the expense of providing benefits, but unsubstantiated contractor classifications are, in fact, discriminatory. Contractors don't have access to the same valuable benefits or legal protections as employees, so misclassification is a type of discrimination that should never go unchallenged.

Contractor Criteria

Misclassification can have a negative effect on the amount of money that you generate through your work activities. You don't want to be labeled as a contractor unless you actually meet the criteria for this classification. If you think that you have been a victim of employee misclassification, it's important to seek out the help of an experienced employment discrimination attorney. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your unique situation to determine if you actually meet the criteria of a contractor.

Most jurisdictions require that contractors be out of an employer's control and provide similar services to other clients. If you are expected to maintain a strict schedule or limit your services to a single company, you most likely are not a contractor. Your attorney will be able to help you take legal action to ensure that you receive the classification (and accompanying benefits) that you are entitled to.


22 August 2019

File Chapter 7, and Keep Your Home

Many people assume that when they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will have to give up their homes and other property. This is not necessarily the case. I am a bankruptcy attorney, and I have helped many clients file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without giving up homes, cars, and other property. When you file for bankruptcy, the property you are allowed to keep depends on your individual circumstances and the state where you live. Most states allow exemption for property you are currently paying for. This blog will guide you through that information and help you determine if filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for you.