Washington DC Independent Contractor Lawyer

In recent years, many employers have significantly increased their use of independent contractors. In most cases, independent contractors perform work for businesses, companies, and individuals, but are typically not considered to be employees.

However, some businesses treat independent contractors as employees for all intents and purposes, particularly if they are working for that one employer. These contractors may be deprived of overtime pay, vacation time, family leave time, and other benefits that regular employees are entitled to, all because they were misclassified.

If you believe your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, you may be entitled to liquidated damages and back wages. A skilled Washington DC independent contractor lawyer could explore your legal options and determine whether you have a valid claim. Get in touch with a seasoned FLSA attorney today.

Qualifications of an Independent Contractor

Some business owners intentionally misclassify their workers as independent contractors in order to avoid compensating them for overtime or to avoid tax obligations. The non-employment relationship between the contractor and the employer is based on a written or oral agreement, but at times may not categorize the worker.

Most companies that hire independent contractors do not withhold state or federal income taxes or Social Security taxes from payments. Furthermore, they do not maintain unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance because federal overtime law is applicable only to employees. However, when employers break laws that define employee classification rules, employers can be liable for damages.

According to the United States Supreme Court, there is no single rule or test for determining whether individuals are independent contractors or employees. Rather, the determination is made by the relationship between the employee/contractor and the employer. There are some important factors the Court considers significant, which include:

  • The provision of employee benefits
  • The tax treatment of the hired individual
  • The skill required
  • The location of the work
  • The method of payment

The Role of Misclassification in Independent Contractor Cases

The federal and state wage laws relating to employees are numerous and dense. Employers can be confused when classifying their employees, which include exempt employees, nonexempt employees, and independent contractors. Each type of worker classification brings certain rights relating to base pay, overtime pay, and other wage concerns.

Employers sometimes mischaracterize employees as independent contractors for a variety of tax-related purposes. Even if an independent contractor is not on a payroll, the contract alone may not establish if the contractor is an employee. Establishing whether someone is an independent contractor or not may require analyzing numerous additional factors.

In some cases, independent contractors are classified by how and when they perform their work. Generally, contractors should use their own equipment, make their own schedule, and have a dedicated amount of control over their work. Depending on the circumstances, there may be additional relevant factors.

Washington DC state and federal law can impose civil and criminal penalties on employers who misclassify their employees. Business owners who fail to properly pay their employees because of misclassification may be required to pay back wages or other damages to the employees. An independent contractor lawyer in DC could help a worker with recovering the damages they deserve.

Contact a Washington DC Independent Contractor Attorney Today

Understanding employment laws can be complicated and may involve legal analysis. If you have concerns about your employment status, a Washington DC independent contractor lawyer could review your case and fight for the compensation that you are entitled to. To learn more, call today.