Connecticut Lawyer for Independent Contractor Misclassification
There are many independent contractors across the state. They operate their own businesses and are engaged by companies to perform tasks the companies do not have the resources or the knowledge to do themselves.
However, there are also many people who have been classified as independent contractors by a company when they are in fact working as employees. The distinction is critical. An independent contractor may be paid by the hour the same rate, no matter how many hours he or she works; is not covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, and may shoulder additional tax burdens. Employees are provided many more protections under state and federal laws.
If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you may have missed out on significant overtime wages or suffered other wrongs. The law allows you to seek the pay you should have received. A Connecticut independent contractor lawyer from Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can assist you in seeking what is owed to you.
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, our employment attorneys regularly assist workers seeking to obtain wages and other benefits they were denied due to being misclassified as independent contractors. Fill out our online form today so we can review the details of your case.
We are based in Hartford, and represent clients throughout the state of Connecticut.
Issues in Connecticut Independent Contractor Cases
- Employees vs. Independent Contractors in Connecticut Law
- Applying the ABC Test to an Independent Contractor
- Requirements for Employees
Employees vs. Independent Contractors in Connecticut Law
Determining whether a person is an independent contractor or an employee is a simple matter of whether or not the person’s services and his or her relationship with the contracting company or employer meets a three-prong test, often called the “ABC Test.” The ABC Test was developed by the Connecticut Department of Labor Unemployment Compensation Division but has been used by courts for wage questions, as well.
The ABC Test is as follows:
- To what extent is the employee under the direction and control of the contracting company / employer?: The more control the company has, the more likely the company will be classified as an employer.
- Are the person’s services within the normal scope of business for the company?: If the person is performing services the company normally performs, it is more likely the person is an employee. i. Is the work outside all the company’s places of business?: If inside the company’s offices or facilities, the job is more likely to be one of an employee.
- Is the person independently established?: Does the person have his or her own established business customarily providing this type of service? If not, the person is more likely to be an employee.
Applying the ABC Test to an Independent Contractor
For example, Aimee is a recent college grad looking for work as a writer in Bridgeport. She sees an ad online for a contract technical writer position, working from home. She applies, is offered a contract and signs it. The company provides employee manuals and human resources policies to other companies, and Aimee will be writing portions of these.
She quickly finds she is expected to work about 50 hours per week. Her work entails twice-daily calls to the company. She sends in several drafts of her work per day, which is returned with edits she is expected to address.
Apply the ABC test to Aimee:
- Aimee is in frequent communication with the contracting company, her work is heavily reviewed and she must change it to fit the company’s specifications. This is not very independent.
- Aimee is writing manuals, which is the company’s main line of business. While she is working from home, she is doing work within the normal scope of the contracting company.
- This is Aimee’s first job. She does not have any sort of business organization, like an LLC, LLP or partnership. She is not independently establishment.
Based on this test, Aimee is probably being misclassified.
Requirements for Employees
Signing a contract before your services begin does not make you an independent contractor, no matter what the contract says. Owning your own vehicle or equipment also does not, in itself, make you an independent contractor. If your service with the company, based on the test above, matches that of an “employee,” you deserve all the rights of an employee.
An employee who does not meet certain narrow exemptions under Connecticut and federal law is owed overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 per week. Overtime is (generally) “time and a half” the employee’s normal hourly wage.
If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you are owed overtime pay for all the time you worked for an employer over 40 hours starting two or three years (depending on the law) from when you file a claim. You may also be owed compensation for certain benefits.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Hartford Attorney for Independent Contractor Misclassification
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, we assist workers who have been improperly denied overtime pay and other benefits in Connecticut because they were classified as “independent contractors.” The independent contractor designation is frequently overused, and it costs workers overtime pay they are owed. If you have worked as an independent contractor but have doubt that was your real status, contact us today by filling out our online form.