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Misclassification of Employees – Understanding What to Do and Your Legal Rights

Employee misclassification is one of the many tactics rogue employers use to avoid certain responsibilities. If you believe that you have been misclassified, there are Federal and state laws that provide remedies. Being misclassified can have adverse consequences on you, your income, and the amount you pay in taxes.

Common Signs of Employer Misclassification

MisclassificationsOne of the most common misclassifications is when your employer claims that you are an independent contractor and not an employee. Under California law, several factors can help determine whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, as discussed below.

Your job classification cannot be changed to an independent contractor if the employer treats you as if you are an employee. Filling out a W9 tax form or signing a contract that says you are not an employee does not make you an independent contractor. Only the circumstances of your job will determine whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee.

Certain factors determine whether your employer can properly classify and pay you as an independent contractor. Examples include:

  • Whether you are carrying out activities different from those carried out by a regular employee
  • Whether your work is part of your employer’s regular business
  • Whether you supply the equipment needed for a particular project
  • Whether you are paid hourly or a lump sum upon completion of the project
  • Whether you have a fair opportunity for profit or loss tied to your skills

You may also be misclassified if you:

  • Perform the same duties as other regular full-time employees, yet your employer claims that you are an independent contractor
  • You don’t invoice your employer
  • Are only allowed to work for one company
  • You’ve been hired on an indefinite basis

If you believe that you’ve been misclassified by your employer, you may need to contact a reputable and respected labor and employment attorney who is ready and able to advocate for you.

What Damages Can You Recover from a Misclassification Lawsuit?

California laws allow you to recover damages if you’re a victim of employer misclassification. The exact kind of damages you may be able to recover will depend on the nature of your job and the employer’s conduct. Generally, you may be able to recover:

  • Unpaid overtime wages
  • Unpaid minimum wages
  • Meal and Rest Break premiums and/or penalties
  • Employment-related expenses
  • Interest
  • Attorney’s Fees and Costs
  • Back pay

A Knowledgeable Labor & Employment Attorney Can Help

A knowledgeable labor and employment attorney in California like Melody Rissell Leonard with the Rissell Law Firm may be able to help if you have been misclassified by an employer.

Given that the attorney understands different tactics rogue employers use to misclassify unsuspecting workers, they can help determine whether you have a valid case against that particular employer.

Labor and employment laws are complex. In addition, they involve a lot of paperwork, strict deadlines, and many other hurdles you need to navigate in your pursuit of justice. To improve your odds of winning the claim or lawsuit, consider working with our skilled San Francisco employment attorney.

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    Melody Rissell Leonard
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    201 Spear Street Suite 1100
    San Francisco, CA 94105


    1327 N Broadway
    Santa Ana, CA 92706

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    (415) 874-7288 | (714) 881-5988

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