There are many reasons that an employee may be able to sue an employer under the terms of an independent contractor lawsuit. These include but are not limited to, negligence, employer discrimination, breach of contract and other wrongdoing by the employer. It is important to understand that these lawsuits are often high value in nature. As such, they are usually very complex, expensive and time consuming to prepare and pursue. This is a perfect example of the saying “time is money”.

Independent Contractor Lawsuit

There are many different aspects to consider in preparing for and filing a lawsuit under the terms of an independent contractor lawsuit. First, if an employee is working on a specific project for a long period of time, they may receive a severance package that will include a lump sum payment for the entire length of their employment with the company.

Although the employee may sue for damages, the company may be able to prove that the employee was receiving overtime pay or other benefits which were considered to be fringe benefits and not taxable income. The employee may also be able to recover damages based on past and/or future injury risk.

There are two main class action lawsuits filed under the independent contractor guidelines.

One involves an injury or sickness claim. In this case, the claims adjuster will review the independent contractor agreement and determine if there was a misrepresentation by the contractor to the employee that resulted in the injury or sickness.

If there was a misrepresentation, the adjuster will recommend to the employer that the claim is filed as a class action. Class action cases are much simpler to pursue than are individual claims.

Another scenario includes a company misclassifying one of their independent contractors as a full-time employee.

Here, the classification is misclassified as a contractual employee rather than an independent contractor. Once again, the adjuster will help the employer to reduce their potential class action settlement by classifying the independent contractor as a contractual employee.

Some states even allow for misclassified independent contractors to be classified as temps by the same employers who improperly classified the workers. In addition to reduced compensation, misclassified independent contractors may also be denied access to employer-provided benefits and perks, such as medical insurance.

Recently, there has been a rise in the number of gig economy work opportunities, including freelancing and work from home jobs, that have resulted in numerous independent contractor lawsuit claims.

Many of these work from home opportunities involve telecommuting, which means that an independent contractor’s hours are driven by the availability of other independent contractors.

Work from home contractors typically do not receive any sort of wage report or benefit agreement, nor are they provided with any form of employee benefits such as medical insurance. As these jobs continue to grow, there will undoubtedly be additional lawsuits challenging the definition of independent contractor versus employee.

An independent contractor is not defined by an employment agreement or by state law, but an independent contractor is defined by the contractor themselves. For example, if a freelance writer works for an employer and submits articles on behalf of the employer, the article is considered a work performed for that employer and the compensation is based on that rate. Similarly, if an independent contractor’s services are required under a contract, the contractor is considered the employer and all compensation is based on that rate.

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