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“Gig Economy” Lead to New Wage and Hour Litigation

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — As the tech boom in the United States continues, which has now lead to the employment of nearly 2 million people, it has also led to the possibility for new wage laws and litigation. This emerging tech economy, also referred to as the Gig Economy, has spawned much debate about fundamental wage and hour laws including how employees are classified. For employees of this industry to ensure their rights are protected, they must make sure they are classified as employees. All too often, many companies in the industry will require individuals to sign agreements once “hired” that establish the new worker as an independent contractor and not an employee.

Are independent contractors entitled to overtime pay?

The difficulty here is not that independent contractors should be getting overtime pay for excessive hours they might put in on a project – they do not get overtime pay, regardless of how many hours they work, since independent contractors are not “employees” and are thus not covered under the FLSA. Rather, the problem occurs when an employer fails to understand that it takes a lot more than a contract to make a worker an independent contractor.

Independent contractor status does not depend upon the existence of a contract specifying that the worker is an independent contractor, or upon what the parties might call the relationship, but rather on the underlying nature of the work relationship. Some employers hire temporary workers to help them with a rush period and think that they are “contract labor” or “contract employees”, when in reality such terms are practically meaningless under wage and hour laws and payroll tax laws.

If such workers are truly employees, and they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employer must pay them overtime pay if they do not qualify for some sort of overtime exemption. There IRS test criteria used to determine a person is truly considered an independent contractor or an employee.  Those factors can determine if a “contractor” is entitled to overtime pay.

Companies in the industry such as Uber and Grub Hub have been taken to court over this issue of misclassification. Uber had to settle the case for $84 million dollars, and Grub Hub is still awaiting a decision. The moral of the story is that regardless of the size of the company, employees must be aware and look out to make sure their rights are protected.

Can I file an FLSA lawsuit against my employer for unpaid overtime?

Yes, you may be able to file an FLSA lawsuit against your employer for unpaid overtime. FLSA lawsuits seek to hold employers accountable for failing to pay the required wages to their workers.  These claims seek payment of unpaid or underpaid wages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses.  Some cases may also force the payment of liquidated damages, which are money damages beyond just the receiving the back pay for unpaid wages.

If your employer owes you overtime wages for work performed, even dating several years back, our top-rated attorneys can file a claim for you to recover the unpaid wages that you are owed.  There are strict time deadlines for filing FLSA lawsuits, so it is essential that you contact an attorney immediately. If you wait, you may lose your ability to recover some or all of your back pay.

FLSA Overtime Lawsuits

Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.

Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.

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