What Is Employee Misclassification?

A common form of employment discrimination is the practice of employee misclassification. Some employers make it a practice to purposefully misclassify non-exempt employees as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime. This also includes misclassifying employees as contractors or regular employees as “managers.”

While the distinction can be highly technical, one easy way to better understand the difference between an exempt and non-exempt employee has to do with the degree of control the employer has over the employee.

In simple terms, if your employer has the power to tell you what to wear, when to come to work or when to take breaks, you may be a non-exempt employee. As a non-exempt employee, you are always entitled to overtime pay if you work overtime hours as opposed to an independent contractor, whose relationship with the employer is more of a partnership than a boss-employee relationship.

Should I File a Lawsuit?

If you believe that you have been discriminated against due to intentional employee misclassification, it can be hard to know whether you should pursue further action. The answer depends on multiple factors and it is best to work closely with an employment attorney to make this determination.

There are very specific guidelines governing who is and who is not exempt. These guidelines differ substantially depending on the category in which your job function falls. The validity of your employee misclassification claim may depend on the interpretation of these guidelines.

Additionally, the duration of your employment, the difference between what you were paid and what you might have been paid, and the potential cost of pursuing a lawsuit must all be factored into the decision.

You Deserve to Fully Understand Your Rights

At Perkins Asbill, we are committed to honest and quality representation. Our goal is to offer you the most accurate information possible and the pertinent legal advice you will need in order to make an educated decision about how you would like to proceed. When you choose to work with us to pursue a wage and hour claim based on employee misclassification, your attorney will apply a thorough understanding of the law and substantial experience to achieve your desired outcome.

We believe that your livelihood should never be threatened by unlawful discrimination. With more than 30 years of employment law experience, our lawyers know how to work through the intricacies of the California Labor Code, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other applicable law. To get started, arrange a confidential consultation by calling (916) 446-2000.