Am I an independent contractor or employee? If I am an independent Contractor do i have rights? If i am an employee who pays tax

I work from home was trained by the company and use the company software to do the job I submit availability to them and they schedule where they need me We have to ask for breaks and most of the time do no receive them, during work we are all in a chat room with assistant managers who are employees and we all do the same job i did sign a contract the managers are employees and are salaried and we are hourly with no OT pay we constantly have newbies that only do a portion of my job and are paid the same there is spanish speaking people who get paid more to do less work only because they speak spanish not to mention we have to call a translator for other languages and still are able to assist spanish speakers even if we are english its actually required....do i have some type of case?

Charlotte, NC -

Attorney Answers (2)

David B. Puryear Jr.

David B. Puryear Jr.

Employment / Labor Attorney - Greensboro, NC
Answered

There are a number of factors that courts consider to determine whether you are truly an independent contractor and not an employee. Some of the most significant are: whether you are free to take on other similar jobs with other companies, or limited to working only for this one company; whether you control your own hours of work, or are required to be present at specific times; whether you control the manner in which you perform your work, or whether you are required to follow specific directions and protocols from your employer; whether you provide your own tools or whether the tools needed to perform the work are provided by your employer. it sounds as though you may be properly classified as an employee, but this only could be determined by a thorough review by an experienced employment attorney. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is one of the most common issues that result in court cases under state and federal wage and hour laws. You and your fellow "independent contractors" should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

As for the differences in pay, if the pay increase is based on a particular set of skills (such as fluency in Spanish), then the pay differential is probably not unlalwful.

David Puryear is an employment attorney licensed in North Carolina with 30 years' experience representing... more
Kirk J. Angel

Kirk J. Angel

Employment / Labor Attorney - Concord, NC
Answered

It sounds like your complaint is related to not being paid overtime. If you are truly an independent contractor, you are not entitled to overtime at all. If you are an employee, you may be entitled to overtime if you are non-exempt. I cannot determine from the information you provide whether you are an independent contractor or an employee. There are several tests that are applied which vary law to law, government agency to government agency and court to court. However at base, the issue is control. If a worker is sufficiently under the control of the company, then he or she will be considered an employee. If you are an employee, then we would have to figure out if you are an exempt employee who is not entitled to overtime or a non-exempt employee who is entitled to overtime.

I strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced employment attorney to help you sort this out. On a separate note, employers are not required to allow employees over 17 to have breaks.

Kirk J. Angel is an experienced attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has practiced... more

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