Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
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Why employee misclassification is a big problem

The reasons why an employer in Connecticut or elsewhere might want to classify a worker as an independent contractor are precisely the same reasons why many workers want to avoid the tag and be termed as regular employees.

We discuss in an article on our website that an employer's depiction of a worker as an independent contractor is sometimes erroneous.

And, candidly, we note, the classification isn't always made in bad faith and for unlawful reasons. As we stress in the above article focusing on independent contractors and employee misclassification, "the line between contractor and employee isn't always clear."

The effects of a wrong designation are clear, though, with misclassification often undermining workplace protections for one worker, while conferring company benefits upon another doing the same type of job.

When misclassification is done in bad faith, the motives are often obvious. Employers can save money by terming their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees. It is only for the latter that a company pays Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes.

As a result, a comparatively bigger bite comes out of contractors' paychecks. Moreover, they forgo other opportunities often available to regular employees, such as overtime pay and sponsored benefits.

There are various federal and state guidelines that address misclassification and provide guidance on how a particular worker should be classified. A proven employment attorney can discuss them with both a concerned employer or worker, respectively.

Strong legal remedies exist to challenge employment classification, including class action lawsuits. Where employees prevail, they may be entitled to recover compensation, benefits, various expenses and overtime hours they worked at regular pay.

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