In many cases, those who work for Florida companies are considered to be employees. However, when certain criteria are met, companies may label workers as independent contractors. You could experience a variety of negative consequences if you’re incorrectly classified as an independent contractor when you should be classified as an employee.
The key differences between the two classifications
Independent contractors are required to purchase their own medical, workers compensation and other forms of insurance. They are also required to provide themselves with a retirement plan. Finally, those who are considered to be self-employed must pay their own employment taxes in full. Therefore, companies can potentially save thousands of dollars per year by claiming that a worker is a contractor as opposed to an employee.
You’re not entitled to a minimum wage as an independent contractor
Employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and in Florida, the minimum wage is $8.65 per hour as of 2021. However, if you are an independent contractor, you are paid per the terms of your contract. An employment law attorney may be able to help you obtain back pay in the event that you’re improperly classified.
You might lose out on important workplace freedoms
Generally speaking, independent contractors are allowed to determine their own hours, working conditions and other aspects of how they do their jobs. However, those who work for employers who misclassify them as contractors may still effectively be under the control of the companies that hired them. Ultimately, this means that you may miss out on the benefits of being an employee while also being denied the potential benefits of being a contractor.
If you believe that you’ve been improperly classified by your employer, it may be a good idea to take legal action against that company. An attorney may be able to represent your interests during settlement talks or during a formal trial.