Has your employer wrongly classified you as an independent contractor so it could avoid providing you benefits? I represent clients in seeking their rightful benefits from their employer, including commissions and wages due.

Employee Misclassification Lawyer | Serving the Greater Boston Area

Has your employer classified you as an independent contractor so it could avoid providing you the benefits to which you are due? I represent clients in seeking their rightful benefits under the proper classification of their status as employees, and I also represent employees seeking the proper payment of wages and commissions that are due. I represent clients in Newton, Wellesley, and throughout the Greater Boston area.

Who Determines the Proper Employment Classification?

There are detailed guidelines published by the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies that concern whether workers should be classified as employees or whether they may legitimately classified as independent contractors.  The IRS regulations concerning employee vs. independent contractor classification include the following:

  • Who controls the worker’s activities, including how the worker does their job?  For example, does the company set hours, dictate how and where the work must be done, instruct and/or train the worker, and provide evaluations of the work being done?  These and similar aspects are known as Behavioral Control.
  • What type of investment does the worker have in being able to perform the work?  Independent contractors often have tens of thousands of dollars invested in equipment, office space, materials, and other items needed to perform the work.  Conversely, employees typically do not need to make any substantial investments (education notwithstanding) for a job.Additionally, independent contractors typically hold themselves out as being available to serve more than one employer in the marketplace (although they do not actually have to be engaged with more than one employer).  Independent contractors are also solely responsible for running their business, and for making a profit.  All of these factors are generally referred to as Financial Control.  

These and other factors taken together are used to determine the correct classification.  It’s important to know that written contracts between a company and a worker are not determinative.  In other words, a company cannot escape its legal obligations to treat workers as employees simply be entering into an “Independent Contractor” or similar agreement, no matter how clearly the contract may be drafted.   

Employee Misclassification Matters; Payment of Wages and Commissions in Misclassification Cases

Employers have a strong incentive to treat workers as independent contractors whenever they can in order avoid paying withholding taxes, unemployment, and other benefits. The law, however, does not permit employers to simply pay workers however they wish.

Employers will sometimes try to cheat employees out of wages and compensation to which they are rightfully owed, such as by:

  • Not paying employees on time
  • Wrongfully withholding pay for an alleged wrong, such as a waitress inadvertently breaking glasses or plates at a restaurant
  • Not paying for required training or mandatory travel
  • Not paying full commissions owed (or terminating an employee prior to the time that commissions would otherwise become due)

I help clients who have been wrongly treated as independent contractors in seeking the benefits to which they are entitled, which can include healthcare, workers’ compensation, retirement (such as 401k contributions), and other benefits.

Misclassification of Employees

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