Virginia Salary and Independent Contractor Misclassification Lawyer
Employee misclassification is a prevalent issue in Virginia that affects workers in every industry and limits the compensation and benefits they should receive for their work. A skilled Virginia salary and independent contractor misclassification lawyer from the Spiggle Law Firm could provide you with an initial case evaluation to see whether you may be entitled to back wages and other damages as the result of your misclassification.
The Basics of Employee Misclassification
Your employer does not have absolute discretion to determine how to compensate you. There are laws dealing with worker minimum wage and overtime compensation that employers in Virginia must legally abide by in most circumstances.
However, these laws do not extend to all workers. You must be categorized as a “nonexempt” employee to enjoy the protections of many employment laws. If your employer wrongly classifies you as an independent contractor or salaried employee, you may fall outside the scope of many legal protections and unfairly miss out on the rights and opportunities you should rightfully be able to exercise.
Why Does Misclassification Happen?
There are many reasons why workers are misclassified, some of which are honest mistakes and some of which are deliberate. Intentionally misclassifying an employee gives an employer an opportunity to cut costs that would otherwise be spent on benefits for a nonexempt employee on staff.
Employers often get away with this because workers are unaware of how their categorization of employment impacts them. Workers who are otherwise treated well at work may also be unaware that there are any legal problems with their classification.
Rights of Nonexempt Employees
One of the biggest advantages of being properly classified as a nonexempt employee is being covered by the federal minimum wage and overtime guidelines established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The minimum wage enforced in Virginia is $7.25 per hour, which is the same as the current federal minimum wage standard. Although your employer may not pay you less than the legal standard, they are of course always free to give more.
Pursuant to the FLSA, nonexempt employees are also entitled to receive overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in one work week. In addition, nonexempt employees are usually entitled to benefits such as workers’ compensation and health benefits.
The Differences Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee
Determining whether you are an employee or an independent contractor depends primarily on how much control your employer has over the work you perform. Among other factors, you are more likely to be an independent contractor if you are self-employed and:
- Set your work schedule
- Provide your own tools and equipment
- Do not have taxes withheld from your paycheck
- Work for more than one company
The overall independence you have over their job performance is more telling of your classification than your job title alone.
The Rights of Salaried Employees
Many employees who are paid on a salary basis are led to believe that the salary they receive is the only compensation they are entitled to collect. This assumption is only accurate in some circumstances. Salaried employees who are rightfully exempt must be paid a salary, compensated at least $913 weekly, and perform certain executive, administrative or professional job duties. Furthermore, the compensation for a salaried employee should be consistent and not vary depending on how many hours they worked.
Learn More by Talking to a Virginia Salary and Independent Contractor Misclassification Attorney
Determining whether you are an employee, an independent contractor, or a nonexempt salaried employee can be very technical. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Virginia independent contractor and misclassification lawyer is available to help you. If you have questions or concerns about how you were classified at work, click here for a no-cost online case review by an attorney at Spiggle Law Firm.