Ensuring California Workers Receive Fair Compensation
Are you or have you ever worked in a career where it felt like your job duties were unclear or didn't match the description you were given? Now that more people are working from home, freelancing, and serving as independent contractors, job titles and responsibilities have become even more potentially perplexing. This—and other factors—has led to some employers choosing to protect their bottom line at the expense of their employees through the process of misclassification.
If you believe that you, a coworker, or a loved one has been misclassified by their employer in order for them to wrongfully benefit from your hard work, contact Manfred, APC. Our San Diego misclassifications attorney Manfred Muecke has been protecting the rights of California workers for nearly two decades. He understands how to help you build a strong claim that will help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is Misclassification?
Misclassification occurs when an employer wrongfully labels one or more workers on purpose in order to benefit in some way. Under California employment law, employees are generally classified as “exempt" or “non-exempt”—other workers may be given labels such as “independent contractor.” For example, an employee may be wrongfully classified as an “independent contractor” or “exempt”. Independent contractors are responsible for paying all federal and state payroll taxes; while non-exempt employees must be paid on a wage and hourly basis. whereas exempt employees do not. This practice can allow employers to avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on their workers, as well as from covering employees with workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.
A worker who has been misclassified as an independent contractor or exempt may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer for damages such as unpaid wages, interest, and attorney's fees.
California Employment Law
- Reimbursement Of Job Expenses
- Wage And Hour Claims
- Wrongful Termination
Why File a Misclassification Claim?
If an employer misclassifies an employee, they may owe the employee for unpaid wages. Someone who is wrongfully classified may not be covered by basic labor standards such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and leave benefits. Additionally, misclassified employees are unable to access critical protections they are entitled to under the law, such as unemployment insurance.
Recoverable damages in a misclassification claim may include:
- Unpaid overtime
- Compensation for meal and break times not given
- Liquidated damages (double damages)
- Legal and attorney fees
- Court costs
Are You Really an Independent Contractor or Exempt?
Your employer cannot simply classify you as an “independent contractor” because they say so. There are legal definitions for each employee classification.
Below are criteria which classifies you as an independent contractor:
- You work without a supervisor, nor are you controlled based on the performance of your work (contractually and actually) – you are in business for yourself
- Your work is specialized and considered outside the company's usual scope of business
- You work independently, typically from home or your own place of business
- You work using your own tools and equipment
- You determine how and when your work will be done (the customer or client will specify deadlines for work)
- You set your own fees
If you believe you were misclassified by your employer, reach out to the San Diego misclassification attorneys at Manfred, APC.
Call to Determine If You Have a Case
If your pay is lower than the salary you were guaranteed, your job duties don't seem to match with your title, or if you have another reason to believe you may not be receiving fair pay relative to your job, you may have been misclassified by your employer intentionally. To determine if you have a potential case, consult with a local, knowledgeable San Diego misclassification lawyer near you for advice on how to proceed.