One scheme employers often use to deprive workers of wages they rightfully earned is to designate them as an “independent contractor.” While a nonexempt employee must usually be paid hourly at a minimum wage, earning time-and-a-half for any hours over 40 worked per week, independent contractors may be paid a flat rate, skirting the overtime and even the minimum wage requirement. However, “independent contractor” has a specific definition under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law.
Philadelphia Independent Contractor Lawyer
If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you may be owed significant back wages. Contact a Philadelphia independent contractor lawyer at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC to fight for you. We will seek to recover the pay owed to you, including overtime wages. Call us today at 215-545-7676 to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
We represent clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including but not limited to Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties. We also represent people throughout New Jersey, including in Ocean, Atlantic, Camden, Burlington, Cape May and Gloucester Counties, and in New York.
How Employers Avoid Overtime Wages By Independent Contractor Designation
Under federal, state and, in some places, local law, employers must pay employees a minimum wage for every hour they worked. In Pennsylvania, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. In New Jersey, it is $8.38 per hour.
Additionally, they must pay overtime, which is 150 percent of the rate the worker usually makes, for all time worked past 40 hours per week. There are certain narrow exemptions that apply for certain workers that allow employers to pay employees on a salary basis.
However, these rules do not apply to independent contractors. An independent contractors is not an employee. He or she is a separate party that has agreed to compensation in a manner outlined in their contract. They do not have to be paid overtime or a certain wage.
Test for Independent Contractors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey Law
However, state law does not allow employers to simply designate a person who does work for them as an independent contractor. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, there is a test under the law for determining whether someone is an independent contractor. If the worker does not meet this test nor an exemption, they must be paid at least the minimum wage and receive overtime pay.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC ǀ Philadelphia Independent Contractor Misclassification Attorneys
If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you may be owed back wages. This includes overtime for hours you worked over 40 per week, and can accumulate to a significant amount. At Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, we will carefully review the details of your case to determine whether you may have been misclassified. Contact us today at 215-545-7676 to set up a consultation.