Trusted Legal Advocacy

Are you sure your employer classified you correctly?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws

The California Labor Code assumes that all workers are employees, not independent contractors. If an employer wishes to classify an employee as an independent contractor, they might have to apply either the ABC or Borello tests before determining the accurate classification. Employees have rights and protections under California’s wage and hour laws. However, these rights and protections only apply if your employer classifies you accurately.

The impact of misclassification on an employee

Employees often qualify for minimum wage, meal and rest breaks, workers’ compensation and overtime pay. Similarly, being classified as exempt or non-exempt within the employee category affects your eligibility for overtime pay. Misclassification can lead to you missing out on hard-earned wages or benefits. If your employer misclassified you, you might experience the following issues:

  • You work more than 40 hours a week but receive no overtime pay.
  • You take on job duties that go beyond the scope of what an independent contractor should perform.
  • You cover work-related expenses that your employer should rightfully pay.

Employees can also go to the Labor Commissioner’s Office to file complaints when their employers do not follow the appropriate wage and hour laws. Independent contractors must look for other legal remedies. California has penalties for the willful misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

What to do if your employer misclassified you

Review your job description and employment contract to see if it accurately reflects your day-to-day duties. Employment classification is more than a technicality. Suppose you suspect that your employer made a mistake in the classification. In that case, you should talk to your employer or human resources department immediately to remedy the issue and compensate you for benefits you failed to receive because of the misclassification. Otherwise, you might have to look for another way to uphold your legal right to fair pay.

Remember, knowing your rights under California’s wage and hour laws is the first step to ensuring that your employer treats you fairly and pays you properly.