I spent approximately five months working for an environmental consulting firm. I was hired under the impression that I would work as an independent contractor for 90-days and then be hired as a full time employee but that never happened. I wound up quitting and going to another company. I worked exclusively for this company full time on job sites and writing reports from home with occasional trips to the office for meetings. I presented myself to clients as an employee of the company and had company business cards. I also wrote and signed reports under the company name. I also was required to perform tasks as directed by my boss. Am I correct in thinking I was wrongly classified as an independent contractor? Is there anything I can do about it. Thank You in advance
From your description of your situation, it sounds like you may have been misclassified. An employment lawyer would need to learn more from you to provide a careful evaluation, however. If you were misclassified as an independent contractor, then you would be entitled to the overtime and minimum wage protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Did you work over 40 hours per week? If yes, then you may be entitled to recover the amount of the unpaid overtime, plus an equal amount as liquidated damages. If you recover those damages, then your former employer would also have to pay your attorney's fees. I suggest that you consult with an employment lawyer in your area. Good luck.
This is a difficult area and one where you really need to consult with an employment attorney. It might be tempting to seek assistance from the State, however, it cannot act as your attorney and budget problems are resulting in severe cut back of many services.
One think that seems to be missing from your question: Were you paid everything you thought you were going to be paid?
One reason the company may have treated you in this way is to avoid the "burden" of paying payroll taxes. This obviously shifts that burden to you. When you meet with an attorney you should take all of the financial information you have that was related to your work with this company - paystubs, any agreements, a summary of who hired you, any employment manual that you were provided, and anything else that was in writing.
By requesting a general answer to your question, you agree that this response is not specific legal advice upon which you can rely. The answer is for your general purposes. If you intend to act upon it, you should retain your own separate attorney and have the answer reviewed to see if it will apply to your situation. In addition, you agree there is no attorney/client relationship created by my answer.
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