Over the past several years, the media has widely reported on a disturbing employment law trend that affects many American workers. Specifically, it seems that many workers are either being intentionally or unintentionally misclassified as independent contractors by their employers.

Why is this occurring? Some employers are intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors so that they can avoid paying these workers certain benefits and paying the government certain taxes. Other employers are unintentionally misclassifying workers because there is a somewhat fine legal line that divides true independent contractors from employees under the law.

Currently, the Internal Revenue Service assesses 20 distinct factors when attempting to determine whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. This assessment alone illustrates just how complex this area of law truly is.

If you have questions about whether or not you have been misclassified by your employer, it may benefit you to speak with an attorney experienced in employment law. An attorney with experience in this area of law will be able to assess your specific work-related situation and circumstances and will ultimately be able to advise you regarding your legal classification.

If you have been misclassified, you may be entitled to certain benefits, income and protections that you are currently being denied. You may ultimately be able to hold your employer accountable for the financial harm you have suffered as a result of misclassification as well. Finally, if you have been misclassified, your actions may help to ensure that other misclassified workers in your workplace are given the right and compensation owed to them.

Source: Findlaw Law and Daily Life, “Are You an Independent Contractor or an Employee?†Daniel Taylor, Jan. 27, 2015