Trusted Legal Advocacy

Misclassification is one major way wage theft occurs

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2022 | Wage and Hour Laws

You perform a job, and you expect to get paid fairly. Still, some employees experience wage and hour theft, and sometimes it’s hard to recognize.

Misclassifying an employee is an example of wage theft that may go unnoticed. If your paycheck is consistently short, it might draw attention to an employer stealing wages from an hourly employee. If the theft occurs from the beginning of employment, no such red flags may exist.

What is misclassification?

Worker misclassification is becoming an increasingly common issue as the workforce is experiencing more gig work positions. People opt to freelance or work for themselves. Those people may be independent contractors.

Just because you work from a remote location, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an independent contractor. An employer may stand to gain a financial benefit and prevent you from obtaining employee benefits if they label you as a contractor. Contracted positions include:

  • People who are in business for themselves
  • People who perform jobs for multiple companies
  • People who make their own schedule
  • People who file their own taxes independently

These aren’t the only set of self-employed or contracted position examples. A specific set of requirements determines the proper employee classification. Simply being given the label of a contractor doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is operating as one. Typically, you’re an employee if the following are true:

  • You only work for one person or company.
  • There is no end date to the work you agreed to do.
  • Your schedule is dictated by the person you work for.

If you’re currently operating under the label of a contractor but believe you might actually be an employee, you may be misclassified. In that case, learning more about California employment and wage laws may help you know how to proceed.