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What happens when employers misclassify workers?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Employment Law For Employees

A worker’s wages, rights, and benefits depend on their classification as an employee or independent contractor. Unfortunately, there are times when employers misclassify workers, which can have a devastating toll on workers.

If this happens, workers should know what rights they have and what they can do to remedy the situation.

Taking action after misclassification

Misclassification can sometimes occur when employers wish to avoid their obligations to employees because it can be more expensive to comply with state and federal laws protecting employees.

Thus, if you believe you have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, you may have grounds to take legal action. Under these circumstances, there could be a host of damages that you may be entitled to, including:

  • Minimum wages
  • Unpaid overtime wages
  • Denied insurance benefits

Further, if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you may not have received the job-protected leave and sick time, which you are entitled to as an employee. You might have also experienced workplace discrimination and thought you had no protection because you were not legally an employee.

In other words, employment misclassification takes a financial, personal, and legal toll on anyone who may be in this position.

Preventing misclassification

It is crucial to address instances of misclassification as soon as possible. Employers can prevent misclassification from arising in the first place by consulting with an attorney if they are unsure of how to classify a worker.

Additionally, Governor Phil Murphy recently signed four bills aimed at preventing misclassification. Those bills, which you can read about in more detail in this article, create resources to better identify and prevent misclassification in New Jersey.

Protecting your rights

Misclassification is a damaging, abusive practice. Holding employers accountable for this type of misconduct can be the most effective step that workers can take to protect themselves and their rights.

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