In business, employees are not always employees. In some cases, workers may be classified as independent contractors and do not always fall under the same rules as employees. However, it is important that workers are properly classified, or wage and hour violations could potentially occur. In such a case, misclassified employees may need to be compensated for hours they have worked.
A situation in Florida recently led to approximately 800 employees receiving back pay for services they have performed. It was reported that the workers were employed to work as staff at hotels and motels. However, some workers were being paid on a per-room basis rather than hourly due to being considered independent contractors. This classification was incorrect, and as a result, employees were not being paid their full wages.
An investigation into two companies led to over $85,000 in back wages being paid to a little less than 250 employees. These wages were only part of the $244,126 that were repaid by staffing agencies. The director for a Wage and Hour Division office stated that they were working to ensure that employees were properly compensated for their work.
Situations in which employees are not given the correct pay for their work can be frustrating. If workers do not know the difference between independent contractors and employees, they may be unknowingly missing out on wages due to being misclassified employees. If a Florida worker believes that wage and hour violations are taking place due to not being considered an employee, that individual may wish to find out more about the distinctions between the classes of workers, how wages are affected and whether action may need to be taken.
Source: staffingindustry.com, "Florida hotels, staffing firms pay $244,126 in back wages", Dec. 17, 2014