Simple Dangers of Misclassifying Independent Contractors and Employees in Florida that You May Be Missing

By: Salma Benkabbou, Esq.

The Millennial Business Lawyer®

Misclassifying Independent Contractors

The state of Florida has a regular problem with employers misclassifying independent contractors as employees and vice versa. Although some workers prefer the flexibility of being independent contractors because they can work around their own schedules and have more opportunities to do different things, being classified as an independent contractor is not always a good thing. It becomes an issue when your employer is treating you like an employee and expecting you to take on the role of an employee without paying you like one or providing you with the other benefits to which an employee would be entitled.

Independent Contractors Can Get Paid Less 

The truth is that independent contractors can and do get paid less. It does not mean that all independent contractors are losing out on money; some will make higher wages than employees simply because of their flexibility in taking on multiple projects. However, there are times when independent contractors are paid less than they deserve for the work they are doing. Employers will often hire people as independent contractors because they can pay them less and they do not even need to worry about offering benefits, such as health care coverage or 401k plans. The employers look at it as a way for them to save money. 

There is nothing wrong with an employer hiring someone as an independent contractor to do work. However, an employer cannot expect certain things of an independent contractor. The independent contractor gets to work on his or her own time. An employee is expected to work a set number of hours each day, starting at a certain time and finishing at a certain time on a routine basis. Misclassifying independent contractors will undoubtedly create issues for both the employer and the contractor.

Misclassifying Independent Contractors

Employers Work Their Way Around Traditional Labor Laws When Start Misclassifying Independent Contractors

The last thing anyone wants to do is work with an employer that refuses to follow the labor laws put in place to protect the interests of workers. Different labor laws were created in the United States to prevent individuals from being overworked and underpaid. Unfortunately, the same laws that are designed to protect employees when they are hired to work for a business do not necessarily apply to independent contractors. What that means is that employers are often getting away with this kind of bad behavior without facing the repercussions of their actions.

When misclassifying independent contractors, it is the independent contractors who tends to suffer the most because they are working hard, putting in a lot of hours, and are expected to meet certain expectations without reaping the benefits that employees would get to enjoy.

Many of the workers in Florida do not realize that they have rights, whether they are independent contractors or employees. Various class action lawsuits have come about recently because different companies were misclassifying independent contractors and other workers, not paying them what they deserve. Understanding your rights as a worker is important because there is a possibility that you have been overworked and underpaid while being misclassified as an independent contractor when you have actually been an employee all this time. If you would like to pursue legal action, The Benkabbou Law Firm would love to help. Reach out today to discuss your situation.