Independent Contractors

My Employer Says I am an Independent Contractor and I Don’t Get Overtime.
Is That True?

Employers frequently call their employees independent contractors.  Employers do this so they do not have to deduct taxes or pay money to the Federal Government for Social Security and/or Medicare.  In addition, Employers say “this gives you flexibility” or “you get to decide when and where you want to work.” In practice, however, the Employer will fire you if you try to exercise your flexibility or refuse a job. 

Employers also do this because they do not want to pay overtime or benefits.  This happens in virtually every industry:  

  • Construction Workers 
  • Landscapers 
  • Janitorial Workers 
  • Oilfield Workers 
  • Merchandisers
  • Warehouse Workers 
  • Nurses and other Healthcare Workers 
  • Repair Persons 
  • Technicians 
  • Consultants 
  • Safety Men/Women 
  • Inspectors
  • Pest Control Technicians 

Employers can pay these workers hourly, with a salary, on a day rate, or piece rate (by the job), or on commission.  The most important point is this:  It does not matter what their employer called them (“employee,” “contractor,” “consultant”), what matters is how they were treated in their work and what their working relationship with the employer was.

At The Buenker Law Firm, we can answer your questions.  Here is a quick guide to:

You Might Be An Employee If:

  • You are paid by the hour
  • You are paid a day-rate
  • You are paid on a weekly basis
  • Your boss calls you a “1099 employee”
  • Your employer calls your paycheck a “paycheck”
  • You have worked for the business for longer than 3 months
  • You actually do the work of the company, like cleaning bathrooms for a janitorial service
  • You filled out an employment application to get the job
  • You get paid by direct deposit
  • Your direct supervisor is an employee of the company
  • Your direct supervisor is another “contractor” of the company
  • You have a direct supervisor
  • You wear a company uniform, shirt, hat, name tag, etc. with the company name on it
  • You drive a company truck
  • You have a company credit card issued to you
  • You are provided with a hotel room when you travel
  • You are paid mileage or for gas when you drive your personal vehicle
  • You are paid a per diem
  • You supervise other workers in the business

If any of these things apply to you, then your employer may be calling you an independent contractor when you are really an employee entitled to overtime or other benefits – especially if you are working more than 40 hours a week. 

If you would like to get a free evaluation of your situation to see if you may be owed overtime pay, then either call us at (866)BUENKER or send us an email by clicking here

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The Buenker Law Firm Attorneys at Law

Attorneys Josef F. Buenker and Thomas H. Padgett, Jr. fight hard to protect workers from wage theft and illegal wage and hour practices. With decades of experience in recovering workers’ stolen wages, we have the ability to represent workers facing wage & hour issues like:

If you believe you have been taken advantage of by your employer, please contact our Houston law firm to request a free consultation. You can reach us online or by calling (713) 868-3388.

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