DC Salary and Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawyer
Not all types of workers receive the same benefits and protections under existing labor laws. Workers are broadly categorized as either “exempt” or “nonexempt” for the purposes of the application of employment law. Nonexempt employees have the full protection of these laws, while exempt employees—like independent contractors and salary workers—fall outside their purview.
Many employers misclassify their workers as being on salary or independent contractors, consequently stripping them of benefits they should be entitled to receive. This mistake could be purposeful or accidental, but in either instance, it produces the same detrimental and unlawful result for the employee.
If you have doubts about your classification status as a worker, a DC salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer with the Spiggle Law Firm may be able to help you straighten this issue out and resolve the matter.
Advantages of Being a Nonexempt Employee
One of the biggest financial benefits of being classified as a nonexempt employee is the right to receive minimum wage and overtime compensation. In addition to minimum wage and overtime, nonexempt employees are entitled to medical leave, workers’ compensation, and other benefits. For these same reasons, independent contractors and salaried employees are often much less costly for employers to hire.
DC Minimum Wage
The minimum wage in Washington D.C. is currently $12.50 per hour, which is one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. In comparison, the federal minimum wage established by the Fair Labor Standards Act is only $7.25 per hour.
Since the Washington D.C. minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, as an employee you are entitled to the highest wage between the two. Misclassification can leave you without a large portion of the wages you are entitled to receive because you are receiving less than minimum wage.
Identifying Exempt Independent Contractors
Even if you are not on payroll and have a contract stating that you are an independent contractor, these facts alone do not unquestionably establish that you are not an employee. Establishing your status as an independent contractor requires analyzing several factors.
These include how you are paid, the degree of control your employer has over you at work and whether the services you provide are in line with your employer’s normal business. Overall, the less your employer dictates how and when you do their job, the more likely it is that you are an independent contractor.
Salaried Employees Exempt from Overtime
The majority of Washington D.C. workers are eligible for overtime, which can be a significant expense for an employer. Hourly employees who work more than 40 hours in one work week are entitled to overtime of 1.5 times their normal pay. Accordingly, if you are making minimum wage, your overtime rate should be $18.75.
Certain salaried employees are typically exempt from this overtime requirement if they are paid on a salary basis earning at least $47,476 annually and have executive, administrative, or professional job roles. There are also additional provisions under Washington D.C. law that exempt other categories of employees, including private household workers, seamen, railroad workers, and parking lot attendants.
Given the differences between federal and Washington D.C. employment laws, it is possible that if you are employed in a particular capacity, you have coverage under some laws but not others. A salary and independent contractor misclassification attorney in Washington DC could examine your individual circumstances and determine what your eligibility for certain benefits may be.
Schedule a Consultation with a DC Misclassification Attorney Today
Employee misclassification is a widespread problem that can sometimes be hard to correct. If you live in the DC area and have concerns about your employee classification, do not hesitate to click here for a free online case review with a Washington DC salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer. You may be protected under federal or local law, and the Spiggle Law Firm could help you ensure you receive those protections.