Virginia Independent Contractor Lawyer

As the American economy grows and evolves, many more companies are employing independent contractors to supply their services to customers. The concept behind an independent contractor allows employers to maintain flexibility with their workforce and the workers to follow their own schedule and work on their own terms.

This classification is not without its drawbacks. Employers are not required to provide benefits to independent contractors. This includes the requirement to provide healthcare and sick leave. Additionally, employers are not required to pay minimum wage or overtime to independent contractors. In short, the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, do not apply.

However, this does not necessarily mean that independent contractors do not have rights. These workers will be employed through the use of contracts that have legal force in court. An aggrieved contractor who does not receive their full pay can take their employer to a Virginia courthouse to seek relief.

A Virginia independent contractor lawyer could help individuals to determine if they are independent contractors and to hold their employers responsible to pay for all work completed.

Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Whether a worker is classified as an independent contractor or an employee plays a large role in what rights they have in the workplace. According to the IRS, an independent contractor:

  • Is self-employed
  • Controls the pace and volume of work
  • Controls where and when the work may be done
  • Provides their own tools for work

Making this determination requires an analysis of all the facts. However, this classification is very important in any analysis of the protections that an employer must provide for the worker.

Workplaces are generally allowed to enter into contracts with independent contractors according to their own needs. This can include how often a contractor is to work, what pay rate they earn, and what benefits they obtain. Courts are generally very hesitant to rule a contract invalid and, employers may place many harsh terms into these contracts.

Additionally, an independent contractor does not need to be paid at minimum wage nor are they necessarily entitled to overtime. As a result, independent contractors have fewer protections under the law, outside of any contract they have.

Legal Recourse for Independent Contractors

Unlike disputes between employees and bosses that are viewed through the lens of labor laws, disputes involving independent contractors are typically concerned with contract law. For example, if a contractor feels that they have not been properly paid for their work, a lawsuit may allege that the workplace has breached their contract.

A judge or jury will examine the contract between the worker and the employer and evaluate if the employer kept their end of the bargain. This contrasts with employment law cases where the factfinder must evaluate if the employer’s actions followed the FLSA.

A Virginia independent contractor lawyer could examine the employment contract between the two parties to determine if the employer breached this contract. They could then ask a court to enforce the contract.

Let a Virginia Independent Contractor Attorney Assist You

Whether a worker is classified as an independent contractor or an employee plays a large role in determining their rights at work. Although independent contractor rights are controlled by contract, this does not mean that an employer can do anything they wish. Contacts between workers and employers must be followed and can be enforced through a lawsuit.

A Virginia independent contractor lawyer could help independent contractors to demand enforcement of their contracts. This can involve any aspect of the compensation arranged under that contract including payment of a commission,  arrangement of benefits. All contacts may be enforced by a Virginia court. Let a Virginia independent contractor attorney make the case for you. Contact a lawyer today to schedule a consultation.