Employee misclassification is when employers incorrectly label workers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid paying taxes and other payments. Workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are denied benefits and critical legal protections afforded to employees such as overtime, minimum wage, healthcare, workers compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment, and other employee benefits.
A worker should be classified as an employee if an employer directs or controls their job. For example, the employer assigns the employee work and determines how and when the work will be performed. Other examples include that a worker has a continuous relationship with the employer or uses the employer’s materials, tools, and equipment. Working offsite or at home does not necessarily make you an independent contractor.
There are certain industries that regularly misclassify employees as independent contractors. Repeat offenders include trucking companies and businesses that use delivery drivers, gig economy companies, and companies that employ workers in housecleaning and home healthcare.