New Jersey Employee Misclassification Lawyers
Companies have always been able to categorize some workers as “independent contractors.” Often, though, some companies will purposely misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying the benefits due a regular employee. If you or a loved one thinks they may be the victim of employment misclassification in New Jersey, contact the legal team at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C..
The rise of giant ride-sharing companies and tech firms has begun to shed more light on misclassification practices. Why take a second look at this business practice? Because misclassifying workers is not only illegal, but it saves major companies millions of dollars while depriving workers of basic benefits and wage protections. The practice is much more common than most people realize and impacts workers in numerous industries like IT, construction, childcare, hairdressers, accountants, and drivers.
At The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. we strongly believe in protecting workers’ rights. Unfortunately, it has become an all too common practice that companies value their profit margin over the well-being of the people that have made the company a success in the first place.
If you believe you’ve been misclassified, you may be missing out on the crucial benefits and wages that you are entitled to. For more information on employment misclassification and what you can do about it, contact the New Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C.. Call us today at (856) 817-6221 and let us help you determine if your rights are being violated.
What is Employment Misclassification?
“Employee misclassification” is when a company or organization treats a worker as an independent contractor, and not a company employee, when in fact, they should be considered an employee of the company. This practice is considered illegal regardless of whether the misclassification was a mistake or intentional. National economic studies and state reports show that anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors.
Why does misclassification matter? When a worker is considered an independent contractor instead of an employee, it means they are missing out on a number of benefits that are typically granted to full-time company employees. As an independent contractor, you may be getting a paycheck, but you end up missing out on many things that employees tend to take for granted. Being employed as an independent contractor means:
- You are required to pay all Social Security and Medicare taxes out of pocket
- You are ineligible for unemployment benefits if you lose your job
- You are ineligible for most company health care plans
- You are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits
- You are ineligible for most workplace rights such as minimum wage, overtime pay, sick pay, and rest breaks
By misclassifying workers, a company can avoid paying taxes, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, overtime, health care, and benefits. They may also be able to get away with underpaying wages and exposing contractors to a variety of risks. Misclassifying workers is a way for companies to keep more money in their own pockets. While misclassification of employees may save the company money, it denies workers the benefits they otherwise may deserve..
Changes in New Jersey Employment Laws
At the beginning of 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a massive legislative package designed to combat the exploitative practice of worker misclassification. This package puts the state of New Jersey at the forefront of fighting back against misclassification.
In total, six new bills have been signed into law that aim to better protect workers and hold companies responsible for exploiting those workers. These bills, which took effect on April 1st, 2020, aim to do the following:
- Give the Commissioner of Labor the power to issue a stop-work order against any company not in compliance with state wage, benefit, or tax laws
- Enhances penalties for companies that engage in employee misclassification
- Enhances penalties for companies that discharge or discriminate against employees or contractors that ask questions or file complaints about misclassification
- Allows the Department of Treasury to provide tax information to the Department of Labor in an effort to help the department investigate wage, benefit, or tax law violations
- Requires employers to post information in an easily viewed space about employee misclassification
How Do You Know If You’ve Been Misclassified?
Determining whether you should be considered an independent contractor or an employee can be challenging. The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development recommends that workers review the “ABC” test in order to help them figure out if they have been misclassified by their employer. The ABC test suggests that a worker should be considered a company employee unless ALL the following circumstances apply:
- A—The individual, not the company, controls the work performed, and,
- B—The work is outside of the typical course of business for the company or the work is performed outside of the place of business, and,
- C—The individual is generally engaged in an independently established trade or profession.
While these guidelines are important to understand, there are certainly several gray areas that an employee may fall into. To understand your legal rights and determine if a company is taking advantage of you as an independent contractor, your best course of action is to contact an experienced New Jersey employment attorney.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Employment Attorney for Help
Afraid that your company has misclassified you as an independent contractor when you should be an employee? Are you concerned that you don’t know where to start to get the situation resolved? Turn to the legal team at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. for help. Our skilled attorneys have extensive experience handling New Jersey employment cases like these. We can review the circumstances of your employment and help determine if you have been misclassified. We will also discuss your legal options for recovering compensation and holding the company accountable for their exploitative employment practices.
If you believe you may be a victim of employment misclassification contact The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C.. Protecting workers’ rights is what we do. Call (856) 817-6221 today to schedule an initial consultation.