Don’t be a victim of misclassification

Most workers in Missouri are protected by certain federal and state regulations if they are employees. However, rules such as the wage and hour law that requires employers to pay the minimum wage do not apply to independent contractors. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, if an employer claims that an employee is an independent contractor, it is misclassification. Not only is this illegal, it can cause the worker significant financial hardship.

CNN Money explains that the official distinction between an independent contractor and an employee is somewhat blurry. The primary difference is in who actually employs the worker. An independent contractor is self-employed, and as such has the autonomy to offer services to one or many companies. An employee is a staff member of the company where he or she works.

Businesses often assign jobs to independent contractors who are specialists in their fields, and they may not receive any training from the company. Instead, they have the ability to fulfill their duties as they see fit, and may be able to conduct their portion of the work off-site. They may even hire workers of their own and train them to fulfill the job tasks.

An employee of the company, on the other hand, typically receives job-specific instruction from a person who is assigned as his or her supervisor. Not only does the company have more authority over how an employee will do the work, it also typically controls the worker’s schedule. An employee who has been misclassified may be owed back pay and other compensation from the company.

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