In fiscal year 2015, 8,781 lawsuits were filed alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That is an 8% jump from last year and a 358% increase from FY 2000. It is a record high, and the numbers are expected to be even higher in FY 2016. The FLSA addresses minimum wage, overtime pay, and more.
Independent Contractor Misclassification
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has ramped up enforcement when it comes to independent contractor misclassification. Independent contractors are not entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment benefits, Workers’ Compensation, and many other benefits. Some employers intentionally misclassify their employees as independent contractors to save money and to avoid having to comply with labor laws.
There are many elements to consider when determining if you are truly an employee or an independent contractor. Who has control over how and when you do your job is the first test.
Joint Employer Status
Questions regarding joint employer status becomes an issue in a couple of types of situations. If you work for a temporary or leasing agency or for a franchise, such as McDonald’s, you may be entitled to protections and benefits as an employee of the larger company, because it may be considered a joint employer.
An experienced employment attorney can evaluate the unique circumstances in your case to determine if you receiving the benefits and protections that you should be, and if you have a claim.