Misclassification as an Independent Contractor in NJ
Roxbury employment lawyer helps you recover compensation for unpaid wages and benefits
Freelance workers, also known as independent contractors, don’t receive the same benefits and protections given to employees. They aren’t given workers’ compensation or company health insurance coverage, must pay their own FICA taxes and are not entitled to collect overtime pay. In exchange for this, independent contractors are supposed to have more freedom to dictate when and how they work. Unfortunately, some businesses try to evade the law by classifying workers as freelancers while maintaining the same type of control an employer would have over an employee. Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq., is an experienced Roxbury employment attorney who represents New Jersey clients victimized by this type of misclassification. If you believe you’re not receiving the benefits you deserve, my firm is ready to help.
Are you an employee or an independent contractor?
My firm is committed to seeing that individuals whom businesses treat as employees are paid in accord with New Jersey’s minimum wage law, collect overtime after 40 hours worked in a single week, are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act benefits and receive workers’ compensation coverage. The state also mandates that employees are granted paid sick leave. Independent contractors get none of these benefits. They can’t even file for unemployment if they lose a gig.
How do you know for sure if you are an employee and not a contractor? The federal Fair Labor Standards Act sets out a number of factors to consider. Known as the economic realities test, the factors include:
- Whether your work is an integral part of the employer’s business — The more essential your job is to the employer’s primary business, the more likely you are to be an employee, whether or not you work onsite.
- Whether your managerial skills affect your opportunity for profit and loss — Independent contractors have a degree of control over the money they earn. An accomplished freelancer can charge a higher rate and move to another job with ease in order to increase their income. On the other hand, employees are basically paid a rate set by the business in something closer to a “take it or leave it” arrangement.
- Which party has invested in facilities and tools required for your work — An independent contractor generally has his/her own tools of the trade. Accordingly, if the equipment you use while performing job functions is provided by the company, it’s more likely that you should be regarded as an employee.
- Your skill and initiative — It’s not so much the level of your skill that counts, but whether you’re able to exercise independent judgment or take the initiative to obtain work. People who are free to turn down jobs while maintaining a business relationship with the company usually are considered contractors.
- The permanency of your relationship with the employer — If a long-term relationship is not so much a matter of your choice but a reflection of industry standards, you are more like an employee.
- How the employer controls the worker’s output — If the business that hires you has control over where and when you work, as well as the details of your assignments, it’s likely that an employer-employee relationship exists.
If you feel you’ve been misclassified as independent contractor, I am a seasoned New Jersey employment attorney who can provide timely advice about your situation. .
What to do if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor in NJ
If you’re being treated as an independent contractor when you’re really an employee, you are leaving money on the table. You could be due compensation for unpaid overtime. If you’ve been hurt on the job and the employer is wrongfully withholding workers’ comp benefits, you need a skilled attorney to help you get the medical treatment and disability benefits you deserve. Don’t delay.
Contact a board-certified lawyer for your employment law dispute
Employment attorney Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq. helps misclassified workers obtain the employment benefits they deserve. Call 862-354-8931 or contact me online to schedule an appointment. My office is conveniently located in Succasunna at 15 Commerce Boulevard, just off Route 10.