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Employee or Independent Contractor? You may be surprised.

Posted on Jul 23, 2015

Most workers in the United States should be classified as employees, and not independent contractors, the U.S. Department of Labor said in an Administrator’s Interpretation issued July 15, 2015.  This is good news for American workers, especially the thousands of workers who are improperly classified as independent contractors and often denied minimum wage and overtime pay. 

The 15-page Interpretation, although not binding on federal courts, sets forth the position the Department of Labor will take when construing the Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of “employee.”  Under this interpretation, most workers in the U.S. should be classified as employees.  The Interpretation goes on to warn that agreements labeling workers as independent contractors are “not relevant to the analysis of the worker’s status.”  Rather, it comes down to whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer or in business for him or herself.  If you are classified as an independent contractor, ask yourself: am I really running my own business?  If the answer is no, you may be improperly classified and entitled to back overtime pay.  You can read the full Interpretation here.

If you have questions about your status as an employee or independent contractor, contact The Law Office of Robert J. Hunt, LLC for a free evaluation of your claim.