If you’re like many California workers, you embrace the current work-from-home opportunities. Workers who recently changed from the corporate office to a home office may miss out on certain benefits due to job misclassification. If you meet the requirements for an employee, you may qualify for overtime pay, health insurance and other benefits.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, state statutes help define independent contractors and employees. Federal and state legislation addresses nonexempt workers in several job-related areas, such as the following:
- Child labor
- Hours worked
- Minimum wage
Understanding the difference between contractors and employees is critical for both workers and employers.
Misclassification of workers
As more people work from home and job descriptions change to meet the new normal, correctly classifying workers becomes challenging. If you take on the duties and responsibilities of an employee, you have the right to employee benefits. Your employer may avoid paying taxes, workers’ compensation, overtime and other benefits if you are an independent contractor.
Employee vs. contractor
The IRS has nearly two dozen points that help determine the appropriate classification of a worker. If you work set hours and use an employer’s equipment, you meet two employee requirements. Your primary work location used to be a primary consideration. Employees worked on-site, and contractors worked elsewhere. However, changes in the work environment since the beginning of 2020 have made that perspective less clear.
Based on your duties and responsibilities, you may have grounds for a claim if an employer misclassifies your position. This may help you recover back pay, overtime and punitive damages.