Working overtime can be incredibly lucrative for many employees in Pennsylvania. Due to both state and federal wage & hours laws that dictate the payment of overtime, it is a protected right for workers. However, at the Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC, our staff often hears from clients that their employers failed to pay them their due by misclassifying their work.
Misclassification of employees is a standard tactic that some employers take in order to reduce their overhead and keep costs low. One way they do this is by stating on employment records that their employees are independent contractors. According to the Internal Revenue Service, independent contractors, or 1099 workers, are a special type of worker that is not considered an employee. Instead, they are contracted out to do certain jobs. As self-employed workers who are hired for specific jobs, they maintain a certain level of autonomy on how their jobs are carried out and when. Examples of independent contractors may include freelance writers, gardeners, doctors, contractors and accountants.
Another way employers misclassify workers is by hiring them as exempt employees and paying them salaries without requiring them to do the types of jobs that are required to do so. For example, salaried workers must have specific duties, like supervisory roles, in order to be ineligible for overtime pay. By classifying workers this way, they can require their employees to stay overtime without having to pay them the statutory minimum, which is one and a half times their regular hourly pay.
In some cases, years of previously unpaid overtime can be at issue. To learn more about this subject, please see our web page.