Misclassified Workers May Be Denied Workers’ Compensation
The average worker considers themselves an employee, in both the colloquial and the classical sense. However, in reality, many workers are classified as independent contractors, which means that they are not legally entitled to certain benefits and perks. This can be a very rude awakening for those who are unaware. If you discover you are classified as an independent contractor when you believe you should not be, you may be able to seek compensation from your employer.
How To Determine Status?
It is important to keep in mind that an employer does not have the right to simply designate someone as an employee or an independent contractor. There are several different factors that affect the classification of a worker, such as the right to set one’s own hours, the right to work for more than one employer at once, and the degree of financial and creative control one has over their own work.
If you have never considered your possible status at work, it may feel easier to simply not investigate, or not contest your classification, but a failure to do so has a chance to directly affect the benefits to which you are entitled in the event of an injury or a termination. Under Florida law, only employees are entitled to receive unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits – the only independent contractors entitled to this benefit are those working in the construction industry.
What Options Do I Have?
If you suspect you have been misclassified, it is crucial to act. An unintentional misclassification, as sometimes happens, may be something that you can work out with your employer. An intentional misclassification, however, can lead to both civil and criminal penalties if the choice has led to direct harm of the worker in question. Florida’s law recognizes deliberate misclassification as an unfair trade practice, and establishes a cause of action for anyone who has experienced this kind of treatment.
In addition, federal tax law also establishes strict financial penalties for deliberate misclassification. One of the most common reasons that employers misclassify workers deliberately is to avoid having to pay increased workers’ compensation premiums, and to hit them in the proverbial wallet can sometimes be an effective deterrent that will end such practices. If not, consulting an experienced attorney may be your best option.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It is all too easy for the average person to get confused about their legal status when it comes to work. Regardless of which status applies to you, you have the right to recover the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney from the Hornsby Law Group today to discuss whether or not you have a case.