Misclassification Class Actions
Employees have certain rights guaranteed by law, so sometimes employers try to classify workers as something other than an “employee” as a way of avoiding the obligations associated with those rights. The type of position a worker holds, such as a full-time or part-time employee, a manager or executive, or an independent contractor, is critical to determining their rights in regards to wages, overtime pay, and other features of employment. Misclassification in employment can lead to a worker not receiving compensation that is owed to them, which is against the law. Class action litigation allows large numbers of employees whose employer has similarly misclassified them to bring a single, large lawsuit that the employer cannot easily ignore. The Chicago misclassification lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights have helped misclassified employees assert their rights all over the country.Employment Misclassification
Laws like the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) require employers to pay at least minimum wage to nonexempt employees, and to pay them time-and-a-half for overtime hours. Employers do not have to pay overtime to exempt employees, which includes executives, managers, and other employees with substantial managerial authority. Independent contractors, who are not considered “employees” under the law, also do not receive overtime pay, nor do they have taxes withheld by the employer from their pay. In exchange for a lack of overtime pay or withholding, independent contractors remain independent of the employer.
Employers may try to misclassify a nonexempt employee as a means of avoiding overtime pay or other forms of compensation. An employee may be unaware that a misclassification has taken place, and in some cases an employer may not have intended to defraud the employee or the government by failing to pay overtime or withhold taxes. In either case, the employer has violated the law, and the employee has rights.Types of Misclassification
Instances of employee misclassification may include:
- Giving an employee an executive or managerial title, but not giving the employee executive or managerial job duties;
- Changing a nonexempt employee’s title to “manager,” but not changing the employee’s actual job duties; or
- Calling an individual an “independent contractor” but exercising control over when, where, and how the individual does their job, which effectively makes the individual an employee.
Some employers may engage in widespread practices of misclassification, impacting the rights of numerous workers. Those workers may benefit from a class action lawsuit, which allows aggrieved individuals with similar claims against a common opponent to join their claims together. Individual employees, whose remedies under the law may not seem large enough to merit bringing suit alone, can use a class action suit as a way to present a united front to a much larger defendant. A large employer may have the means to deflect individual claims for misclassification, but must deal seriously when large numbers of employees assert their claims together.
At Nationwide Consumer Rights, our Chicago misclassification attorneys fight for the rights of employees who have experienced misclassification and related infringements of their legal rights. With decades of experience in class action litigation, we represent employees and consumers all over the country. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a misclassification lawyer in Chicago or beyond, contact us today online or at (630) 333-0000.