With the rise of the temporary workforce, it is important for contractors and independent contractors to know their rights in the workplace. As an independent contractor for a company such as GrubHub, Uber, Lyft, or a smaller local company, you may not have the same rights and benefits as a typical employee.
However, even in other fields, it is common for workers to face challenges in the workplace because their employers improperly classified them as a contractor instead of an employee. Employees are generally offered broad protections in the workplace under both federal and state law, but contractors or casual employees are generally not covered under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
This means if a worker is classified as a contractor and suffers a workplace injury, they may not be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, a contractor may not be entitled to protections under anti-discrimination and overtime laws and may face additional challenges with taxation.
If you have questions about your status as a contractor or an employee, a Charleston contractor v. employee lawyer is available to address your concerns. Additionally, if you believe you were improperly classified as a contractor, a workers’ compensation attorney could advocate for your rights and challenge your employer’s decision.
Differences Between a Contractor and Employee
The South Carolina Court of Appeals issued a ruling clarifying how to identify if a worker is a contractor or an employee. The court identified four factors used to determine the classification of someone as an employee:
- Direct evidence of the right or exercise of control
- Furnishing of equipment
- The method of payment
- The right to fire
If an individual was classified as an independent contractor incorrectly, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits using the above test. To learn more, contact a Charleston contractor v. employee lawyer.
Fair Labor Standards Act Rights for Contractors and Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides workers with broad protections covering overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor standards, and record-keeping standards. This federal law, encoded as 29 USC 2301(e)(1), provides an expansive definition of what constitutes an employee and loosely defines an employee as any individual employed by an employer.
While the United States Department of Labor issued a memo in 2015 urging that independent contractors be considered employees in this context, employers still often seek to challenge and deny workers’ rights under the FLSA due to their status as an independent contractor. This has resulted in several lawsuits filed across the country. If an individual has been denied a workers’ compensation claim, it is essential that they reach out to a skilled lawyer.
Consult with a Trusted Charleston Contractor v. Employee Attorney
In June 2017, the United States Department of Labor announced that they were withdrawing the department’s informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors. This has left many workers and employers confused about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
In these uncertain times, turn to an experienced and aggressive Charleston contractor v. employee lawyer if you have any questions or concerns. A local attorney could help you review your rights under your employment contract and determine whether your classification is correct. You may be entitled to certain employment rights, so call today to schedule an initial consultation.