Helping you recover compensation for unpaid wages and benefits
Companies often consider creative cost-cutting measures to save money. Payroll and benefits are typically a business’s biggest expenses, so eliminating workers is one potential means of saving money. Classifying someone as an independent contractor can also save money.
While businesses must still pay independent contractors, also known as contract employees, as agreed, companies avoid Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes and reduce workers’ compensation premiums. Independent contractors are also not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or other federal laws regulating employment. However, independent contractors benefit from more flexible work hours and gain the opportunity to profit from their work. For those reasons, independent contractors offer both the company and the worker advantages when classified appropriately.
However, when a true employee is wrongly classified as an independent contractor, it isn’t fair and may also violate the FLSA.
DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick & Benjamin, LLC specializes in handling employment and labor law cases for workers. Our goal is to achieve fairness in the workplace. Independent contractors serve a valuable function and, in return, can build lucrative, secure careers. But unfortunately, the title often masks the true nature of a job that often allows employers to take advantage of people who are just trying to make a living and are not legitimately independent contractors.
Are you an independent contractor?
Just because your employment contract says you are an independent contractor does not mean you are one. The line between independent contractor and employee may be blurred, but the financial consequences may be substantial. The primary criteria the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) use to determine whether you are an independent contractor is whether you perform services that are not controlled by your employer, as indicated by these factors:
- Behavior — You decide what you will do and how you will do it.
- Financial terms — You made a significant investment in equipment and other business aspects, your expenses are typically unreimbursed, you are at risk of loss and have the opportunity for profit, and your services are available on the market.
- Relationship — Your relationship with the company is temporary, and your work is not integral to the company’s main focus.
These factors are often referred to as the “economic realities” test. Even if you satisfy a substantial number of these characteristics, you may still actually be an employee entitled to minimum and overtime wages. In fact, the analysis can be so confusing that your employer’s misclassification may be an honest mistake. However, your employer should still be held accountable if you suffered a loss because of the misclassification.
Our employment law attorneys have decades of combined experience evaluating employer-worker relationships. We fully investigate the details of your unique circumstances to classify you properly. We then take decisive steps to recover the unpaid wages and benefits your employer owes you and make sure that your employer treats you justly in the future.
Learn how misclassification can affect your rights and what you can do about it
Contact DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC for more information about employee and independent contractor classifications.
Call us at or contact us online to schedule your free initial telephone appointment with our skilled attorneys. Our Atlanta office has convenient on and off-street parking and is ADA accessible.