When you work for a cable company in Connecticut as a cable installer, the company may designate you as an independent contractor. While this may seem like a way to give you more autonomy as a worker, it is actually a way for the cable company to save money on overtime, unemployment, insurance, taxes, and other matters. In fact, many “independent contractor” cable installers actually should be classified as employees under Connecticut and federal law, given the specific definitions of the terms.
If you are a cable installer in Connecticut and have been classified as an independent contractor, you may have the right to recover compensation you are lacking. An experienced Hartford wage and hour employment lawyer can determine both if you have cause and the best avenue for pursuing your claim.
Connecticut Wage and Hour Lawyer for Cable Installers
When a cable company in Connecticut classifies you as an independent contractor cable installer when you should be given employee status, they are not only cheating you out of many benefits, they are violating the law. If you work for a cable company as a cable installer in Hartford, Milford, Manchester, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bristol, New Haven, or anywhere else in Connecticut and you are labeled an independent contractor but believe you should have full employee status, contact the experienced Connecticut employment law attorneys of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore.
The skilled and qualified Connecticut employment lawyers of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore will use their more than three decades of combined experience to determine the specifics of your claim and the best avenue for pursuing the compensation you desire. To have your Connecticut cable installer wage and hour claim reviewed by our experienced team at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, fill out and submit our confidential online contact form today.
The Three-Factor Test and Connecticut Employee Status
Unlike your employer in Connecticut may have you believe, a company can’t just decide what makes an independent contractor and what makes a part-time or full-time employee. Under Connecticut law, there is a simple, three-prong test to determine whether a person who is designated as an “independent contractor” is actually an employee.
To be an independent contractor, the worker in question must meet all of the following qualities:
- The worker must have significant control over his or her work.
- The work either must be off-site (cable installation in another person’s home or business does not qualify as “off-site”) or not be an integral part of the employer’s business.
- The worker must be independently established as a business.
If the worker does not meet all three qualifications, he or she is unlikely to qualify as an independent contractor and is, therefore, an employee.
This is an important designation because the law provides significantly more benefits and protections to employees than to independent contractors. Working with an experienced Hartford employment law attorney can help you determine if you qualify for full employment status and what compensation you qualify for if you are a full employee.
Many Connecticut Cable Installers Are Not Independent Contractors
In addition to the FLSA employee status test, Connecticut has its own, often stricter, rules about whether or not a worker qualifies as an independent contractor or an employee of the company. The test here is whether an employer can show that the worker is sufficiently free from control, engaged in a different business than the company, and is independently established in his or her own business. If these factors can be proven in court, then the worker is an independent contractor. If not, the cable installer is likely an employee.
For example, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Scantland v. Jeffry Knight, Inc. that the cable installers of the company were, in fact, employees and not independent contractors due to the totality of the federal testing failing to prove that the workers were not mostly dependent on the company for work and support. This case would also have failed the Connecticut standard for independent contractors. The Eleventh Circuit decided the cable installers were in fact employees based on the following factors:
- Cable company provided technicians with training, controlled their daily schedules to some extent, gave them daily work assignments, and conducted quality control assessments with remedial training
- Technicians were dependent on the company for work, couldn’t negotiate their payment rates, and were otherwise limited in ability to control their own profits and losses through the cable company
- Many of the cable installers acquired their skills directly through the cable company’s training program and were otherwise dependent on the company to equip them with the necessary job skills
- Contracts between the cable workers and the company were year-long contracts that were automatically renewable. Additionally, they could not turn down the company’s work orders, so the relationship had a degree of permanence and exclusivity normally only assigned to employee status
- The cable installers’ work was a big portion of company business, and the company thus exercised careful control over the technicians’ services to its customers, as it would employees
The court determined that the cable installers who were allegedly independent contractors looked and acted like employees of the company, and therefore were employees of the company and not contractors. Though this was a court case that originated in Florida, the same standard applies to Connecticut cable companies and their cable installers.
If the independent contractor cable installer operates his or her own business and has primary control over their services, he or she may qualify for the contractor status the Connecticut cable company has given him or her. However, if the cable installer is significantly reliant on the cable company to do his or her own work and doesn’t have primary control, the Connecticut cable company must give that worker employee status. Distinguishing between an independent contractor and employee under federal and Connecticut law can be complicated, so working with an experienced Hartford employment attorney is strongly recommended for your Connecticut cable installer lawsuit.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Employment Attorney for Hartford Cable Installers
If you are a cable installer listed as an independent contractor when you believe you should have full employment status for a cable company in Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bristol, Waterbury, New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, Stamford, Meriden, Middletown, or elsewhere in Connecticut, Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore may be able to work with you on your wage and hour claim. To submit your case for review by the Connecticut wage and hour employment lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, fill out our online contact form today.
A recent blog explains about a lawsuit where cable installers were allowed to sue for overtime, even though they signed an agreement stating that they were independent contractors.