The use of independent contractors on job sites is becoming much more common in Minnesota and across the US. It should come as no surprise that the misclassification of employees as independent contractors has also increased significantly in recent years. It may not seem like a big deal to be classified as an independent contractor or an employee, but being classified incorrectly can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or more in some situations. Below, we explain what you should do if you are being misclassified as an independent contractor.
Worker Misclassification In Minnesota
Estimates suggest that roughly 20 percent of employers in Minnesota misclassify at least one employee, and it’s especially rampant in certain industries like construction, where 1 in 5 employees is misclassified as an independent contractor. Many employers knowingly or unknowingly try to classify employees as independent contractors because they aren’t entitled to the same benefits as a standard employee. For example, a business does not have to do any of the following for independent contractors:
- Carry workers’ compensation insurance
- Pay minimum wage
- Pay overtime wages
- Pay unemployment insurance
These are just a few of the ways that a worker can be harmed by a misclassification, but the public is also harmed because payroll taxes aren’t collected like they would be for a normal employee.
To combat worker misclassification and wage theft, Minnesota passed a law in 2019 that makes it harder for employers to get away with fraudulent worker classifications, but it’s still a major issue. Many construction jobs are contracted out with payments being made with cash under the table, but this leaves the worker susceptible to wage theft and huge medical bills in the event of an injury because they aren’t covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
If you believe that you are purposely or accidentally being classified as an independent contractor, reach out to a lawyer. We will learn more about your situation and can use this test to help determine if you truly are an independent contractor or if you are being misclassified. From there, we can help you file a claim to compensate for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime or other lost income or expenses you experienced as a direct result of your misclassification.
Sometimes this misclassification is an oversight, while other times it is done intentionally by an employer to take advantage of an individual. Oftentimes construction workers and contractors come from different backgrounds and may not speak fluent English or understand the legal framework of any contracts written in English, and that can leave them holding the short end of the stick. Don’t continue to get taken advantage of by your employer. Connect with a workers’ compensation lawyer and ensure that you get any back pay or compensation that you are owed as a direct result of your misclassification.
For more information about employee misclassification or wage theft compensation in Minnesota, reach out to Dean Margolis and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.
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