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This sneaky trick can deprive workers of several key protections

Most employees would prefer to keep their relationships with their employers as amicable as possible. However, companies sometimes engage in conduct that can force workers to take legal action. The conduct of a company could infringe on a worker’s rights. Sometimes, companies do not comply with federal and California state wage laws. They might fail to pay workers overtime or might not pay them minimum wage. Other times, businesses try to deny workers access to crucial types of support, such as workers’ compensation benefits or unemployment insurance.

Employees facing hardship directly triggered by an employer’s decisions may need to consider taking the matter to civil court. One sneaky move conducted by some businesses can result in numerous damaging consequences for affected workers, and those who understand this issue may recognize when they need to fight back.

Misclassification can impact a worker’s rights

Someone taking on a new position with a company is usually an employee. Employees have numerous protections under state and federal law. They benefit from wage rules that set minimum requirements for their pay and from state insurance programs that protect them from health issues related to their employment or unexpected job loss.

Companies that intentionally misclassify workers as independent contractors minimize company risks by passing most employment liability back to the individual workers. When a company hires someone and treats them like an employee, it should also classify and pay them as an employee.

Independent contractors do not receive overtime pay or even minimum wage in some cases. They are not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage unless they self-insure and also don’t receive unemployment protections. Self-employed workers or independent contractors also contribute more toward payroll taxes than standard employees.

When workers realize that the companies that hired them misclassified them, they may have few options other than taking the matter to court. A misclassification claim could potentially help workers obtain unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation coverage. They could also potentially receive pay if they previously did not receive overtime wages or earn minimum wage because of the number of hours worked.

Misclassification lawsuits require a careful examination of someone’s employment arrangements, not just the contract they signed with the company. Learning more about the ways that employers try to avoid their obligations to workers may benefit those denied the benefits or pay they rightfully deserve.


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