Being misclassified as an independent contractor rather than an employee can have substantial financial repercussions. You stand to lose out on a lot and it’s only fair your employer pays you your full dues even if the misclassification happened unintentionally.
Understanding the damages you are entitled to as a misclassified employee can help you assert your legal rights and recover what is rightfully yours. This goes beyond the immediate financial losses, as explained below.
Lost wages and overtime pay
Independent contractors are not subject to the minimum wage requirements or overtime pay as stipulated by the law. As such, you may be compensated for the wages you lost, the interest accrued and missed overtime pay if you were wrongly classified as an independent contractor.
Unpaid benefits and retirement contributions
You may have missed certain benefits like health insurance or retirement contributions since you were not considered an employee. If so, you can recover the amount you were wrongfully denied by being misclassified.
Legal fees and associated costs
If you prevail in a misclassification lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover legal fees and court costs incurred during the litigation process. This provision encourages employees to pursue rightful claims without the fear of exorbitant legal expenses.
Liquidated damages and penalties
In some instances, you may recover liquidated damages, equal to the amount of pay you were denied. These damages serve as compensation for the harm caused by misclassification. Your employer could also be penalized, especially if the misclassification was willful and intentional.
It helps to understand that every situation is unique and the damages you may be entitled to vary. Seeking legal guidance for an informed evaluation of your case can help you protect your interests and take decisive action toward getting justice.