As an employee in California, there are many ways that your employer could take advantage of you. Physical discrimination and harassment happen often, and they may be easier to spot and take action on. However, there are other forms of discrimination that are easier for employers to get away with. Wage theft is a common crime that California employers commit, and one of the most frequent examples of this is employee misclassification.
What is Employee Misclassification?
Employers can try to misclassify or miscategorize an employee in order to gain some kinds of illegal employer benefits. Once an employee is misclassified, they are usually denied access to important benefits and legal protections that they are entitled to under employment law. These lost benefits could include:
- Minimum wage
- Overtime payments
- Family and medical leave
- Unemployment insurance
- Safe work environments
What Are the Main Types of Employee Misclassification?
As a worker, you could be misclassified as a:
- Independent contractor. One of the most common ways an employer will attempt to misclassify you is by classifying you as an independent contractor. This classification is cheaper for the employer because they do not have to provide health care benefits or cover you under California workers’ compensation, disability, unemployment or Social Security protection. They also don’t have to pay overtime or payroll taxes for independent contractors. Independent contractors are paid by the job, so they are usually not given overtime pay or minimum wage by the hour.
- Managerial employee. Employers are also not required to compensate for overtime pay for non-exempt employees that are misclassified as managers. This can apply even if you are not managing other employees.
Wage theft unfortunately occurs often in California businesses, and you can easily be misclassified at the benefit of your employer. If you believe that you have been misclassified as an employee, contact our Los Angeles wage attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob today for your free consultation.