It is more common than you might think for employers to misclassify employees as independent contractors.
The misclassification may be due to a genuine mistake, lack of knowledge of the law, or it could be intentional.
If you reside and work in North Carolina and suspect your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, you should know your rights.
An employer may gain many benefits by classifying a worker as an independent contractor. However, there are seldom benefits for the employee. By labeling you an independent contractor, your employer can save on overtime pay, workers’ compensation insurance, health benefit premiums, retirement contributions, unemployment insurance, and more.
At EMP Law, we help employees determine if they have been misclassified as independent contractors and help misclassified workers receive the benefits they deserve.
Deciphering North Carolina law can be complicated. Let our North Carolina employment lawyers help you.
With offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC, we serve employees throughout the state.
What Is an Independent Contractor?
Generally, an independent contractor is defined as a self-employed individual who is outside the employer’s control.
The IRS states a worker is an independent contractor if the person paying for their work “only has the right to control or direct the work’s end result.” In other words, a worker is an independent contractor if their employer does not control how the work will be completed.
If you are an independent contractor, then you are self-employed. The earnings of a person working as an independent contractor are subject to self-employment tax.
To determine your specific tax obligations, visit the Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center.
As an independent contractor, you typically do not have the same rights and benefits as an employee.
Generally, you may not be covered by:
- Minimum wage and overtime laws,
- Employer benefits (e.g., health benefits, 401k),
- Unemployment insurance, or
- Workers’ compensation.
If you are an employee, you deserve the benefits that come with that status. Don’t allow your employer to limit your benefits or rights by improperly or mistakenly classifying you as an independent contractor.
North Carolina Independent Contractor vs. Employee
No single test determines whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. Instead, multiple factors will be considered to determine a worker’s correct classification.
These factors include:
- Amount of control the employer has over the employee,
- Amount of supervision,
- Who decides how the work will be done,
- Whether there is a continuing relationship between the employee and employer,
- Who sets the hours of work, and
- Who pays for supplies and equipment.
Every case is unique. Some factors may apply to you, and others won’t, but that does not mean you do not have a strong claim. A skilled employment lawyer in North Carolina can listen to your story and explain whether you can pursue a claim.
What to Do If You Believe Your Employer Has Misclassified You
A North Carolina employer cannot unilaterally decide to classify you as an independent contractor. If you believe your employer has classified you as an independent contractor to avoid paying you overtime or providing you with benefits you are entitled to, you need to seek the guidance of an experienced lawyer.
To successfully bring a misclassification claim against your employer, you need to prove:
- You were an employee;
- Your employer misclassified you as an independent contractor; and
- You suffered damages as a result.
If your employer has misclassified you in an attempt to avoid their legal obligations, contact the experienced North Carolina employment attorneys at EMP Law Firm. We are experienced in taking on employers who are not meeting their obligations.
Contact Our North Carolina Employment Attorneys
EMP Law believes in always sticking up for the underdog. If you think you are the victim of independent contractor misclassification, do not hesitate to contact us.
We can help you figure out if you have been misclassified as a contractor and help you fight for the benefits and compensation you might be owed. We have handled many of these claims successfully. We stand ready to do the same for you.