Maryland Salary and Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawyer
Although how an employee is classified may seem like a trivial issue, this decision can have significant financial effects on employers and their employees. Workers who are not classified as employees miss out on several benefits, including overtime compensation, minimum wage, unemployment, and employer contributions to Social Security.
It is often beneficial to an employer to avoid classifying a worker as an employee to avoid paying for these extra expenses. Unfortunately, this means that employee misclassification happens all too often to Maryland workers.
Do not let your employer deny you the compensation you are entitled to receive. A Maryland salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could help you analyze how you should be classified under the law and ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
Characteristics of Independent Contractors
Workers are usually considered independent contractors if they are in control of how and when they perform their work. Determining whether a worker is actually an independent contractor, however, involves a thorough analysis that goes beyond just the worker’s job title or existing contract between the parties.
Multiple factors may be taken into account when making this determination. Generally speaking, independent contractors should have their own business, use their own equipment, make their own schedule, and have significant control over their work. Depending on the circumstances, additional factors may also be relevant.
Characteristics Salary Employees
Employees who receive a salary as opposed to an hourly wage do not always qualify for overtime. To qualify as an exempt employee, salaried employees must perform executive, professional, or administrative job functions.
Executive job functions involve managerial tasks such as supervising full-time employees and having the power to hire or fire employees.
Professional job functions are those that require specialized knowledge, training and professional judgment. Many professional job functions require a license or advanced education to practice such as a lawyer, doctor or certified public accountant.
Finally, administrative job functions entail exercising independent judgment and performing office or non-manual work related to business operations.
All exempt salary employees should earn at least $913 per week on a salary basis. Being paid on a salary basis means that your pay should not fluctuate based on how many hours they work.
Employment Misclassification Penalties for Employers
Maryland state and federal law imposes civil—and in extreme cases, criminal—penalties on employers who misclassify their employees as independent contractors or salaried employees. Employers who fail to properly compensate you because of misclassification may be required to pay back wages or other damages to those employees. Under Maryland law, employers may also be required to pay interest on back wages that are owed.
A failure to fully compensate an employee may allow that employee to support a valid claim for wage theft. If you decide to file a claim regarding misclassification, there are also laws in place that protect you from retaliation after asserting your rights to file such a claim. Employers can face additional penalties for engaging in retaliatory conduct such as firing or threatening an employee in response to their filing of a good faith claim.
Contact a Maryland Salary and Independent Contractor Misclassification Attorney Today
If you are at all unsure about how your employment is currently or should be classified under the law, the Spiggle Law Firm may be able to provide some insight into your employment situation. Click here for a free online case review by an experienced Maryland salary and independent misclassification lawyer. If you want to know how much your case may be worth, click here to use our Case Assessment Calculator.