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John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2876
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I am a contractor. A team lead called an unauthorized meeting

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I am a contractor. A team lead called an unauthorized meeting in which he complained about my work ethics. I stood up for myself and was sent home and asked not to return the next day, Friday.
The Project Manager informed me that on Monday, I was there to collect my things, that I was not terminated and tried to get me to work that day. I went home and returned Tuesday.
My time card was filled out with a code I had never seen before. Can I sue this company
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

EmplmntLaw1 : Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Generally speaking, none of the employment laws apply to workers that are truly "independent contractors" (ICs); ICs only have claims of breach of contract -assuming the there is a breach.If you truly are an IC – the answer to your question would completely depend on the terms of your contract with the employer – i.e., did you ever agree to have recruitment costs taken out of your pay – if not, then you have a breach of contract claim against the employer for the taking you off the job before the terms of your employment were completed without you first breaching the agreement.But I suspect there is a bigger issue in your matter, which is one of employment misclassification. The misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and to the entire economy. Misclassified employees are often denied access to critical benefits and protections – such as family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wage,workers compensation and unemployment insurance – to which they are entitled. Employee misclassification also generates substantial losses to the Treasury and the Social Security and Medicare funds, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers compensation funds. Maryland specifically enforces employment missclassificaion through its department of labor and the penalties against employers are quite stiff.grants individuals a private right of action to file suit in court to challenge their classification if a final order has not been issued by another court or administrative unit. The action must be filed within three years after the date the cause of action accrues. The court may award a prevailing misclassified employee the following: (1) “Economic damages” including unpaid wages and benefits; (2) An additional amount up to three times the “economic damages” if the employer knowingly misclassified the individual; (3) Reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs; and (4) “Any other appropriate relief.”Generally, if you are working for only one employer and your economic future is dependent on that one employer – you are an employee; not an independent contractor; this is regardless of whether you signed an independent contractor agreement with the employer.Ask yourself the following questions if you answer yes to more than a few you are probably an employee and entitled to a lot of extra benefits and pay.1. your employer exercises control over the manner you complete a job (when, where, how you do the work);2. you usually work under supervision;3. you work for the employer month after month or year after year instead of completing a job when the contract period ends;4. your employer or co-worker trains you to perform a job in a certain way and you learn your job from watching experienced employees, or attend meetings or courses;5. you must complete the tasks assigned to you, and cannot hire assistants to perform the work you were hired to do;6. your job and work are part of the daily operations of the business and your assignments are coordinated with other employees in the company, and the success of the business depends upon that work being done. For example, an office clerical worker is probably an employee because his work is coordinated with supervisors and other staff members, while an AC repairman hired by a restaurant to fix the AC unit is probably an independent contractor because during and after that project, he will have little or no interaction with any of the other employees (cooks, bartenders, waitresses, etc.);7. your services are for the most part available only to the employer and not to the general public;8. you are an integral part of the employer's business and rarely, if ever, offer your services to someone other than your employer;9. your employer sets your schedule instead of coming and going as you please;10. you must work at the employer's place of business, or at another location determined by the employer;11. your employer pays you on a set schedule in regular amounts by the hour or salary;12. your employer determines the order in which you must complete certain jobs, especially if the same outcome could be achieved by doing the tasks in a different order;13. your employer gives you materials and tools needed to complete the job;14. you typically work for one company instead of several customers at the same time.If you believe you are an employee, then you probably will want to explore retaining an attorney in your area and/or filing a charge with the department of labor. Here is the link to the dept of labor form. http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/workplacefraudtaskforce/wpftcomplaintform.pdfI believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, and I wish you all the best with this matter.
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Generally speaking, none of the employment laws apply to workers that are truly "independent contractors" (ICs); ICs only have claims of breach of contract -assuming the there is a breach.If you truly are an IC – the answer to your question would completely depend on the terms of your contract with the employer – i.e., did you ever agree to have recruitment costs taken out of your pay – if not, then you have a breach of contract claim against the employer for the taking you off the job before the terms of your employment were completed without you first breaching the agreement.

But I suspect there is a bigger issue in your matter, which is one of employment misclassification. The misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and to the entire economy. Misclassified employees are often denied access to critical benefits and protections – such as family and medical leave, overtime, minimum wage,workers compensation and unemployment insurance – to which they are entitled. Employee misclassification also generates substantial losses to the Treasury and the Social Security and Medicare funds, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers compensation funds.

Maryland specifically enforces employment missclassificaion through its department of labor and the penalties against employers are quite stiff.grants individuals a private right of action to file suit in court to challenge their classification if a final order has not been issued by another court or administrative unit. The action must be filed within three years after the date the cause of action accrues. The court may award a prevailing misclassified employee the following: (1) “Economic damages” including unpaid wages and benefits; (2) An additional amount up to three times the “economic damages” if the employer knowingly misclassified the individual; (3) Reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs; and (4) “Any other appropriate relief.”Generally, if you are working for only one employer and your economic future is dependent on that one employer – you are an employee; not an independent contractor; this is regardless of whether you signed an independent contractor agreement with the employer.Ask yourself the following questions if you answer yes to more than a few you are probably an employee and entitled to a lot of extra benefits and pay.1. your employer exercises control over the manner you complete a job (when, where, how you do the work);2. you usually work under supervision;3. you work for the employer month after month or year after year instead of completing a job when the contract period ends;4. your employer or co-worker trains you to perform a job in a certain way and you learn your job from watching experienced employees, or attend meetings or courses;5. you must complete the tasks assigned to you, and cannot hire assistants to perform the work you were hired to do;6. your job and work are part of the daily operations of the business and your assignments are coordinated with other employees in the company, and the success of the business depends upon that work being done. For example, an office clerical worker is probably an employee because his work is coordinated with supervisors and other staff members, while an AC repairman hired by a restaurant to fix the AC unit is probably an independent contractor because during and after that project, he will have little or no interaction with any of the other employees (cooks, bartenders, waitresses, etc.);7. your services are for the most part available only to the employer and not to the general public;8. you are an integral part of the employer's business and rarely, if ever, offer your services to someone other than your employer;9. your employer sets your schedule instead of coming and going as you please;10. you must work at the employer's place of business, or at another location determined by the employer;11. your employer pays you on a set schedule in regular amounts by the hour or salary;12. your employer determines the order in which you must complete certain jobs, especially if the same outcome could be achieved by doing the tasks in a different order;13. your employer gives you materials and tools needed to complete the job;14. you typically work for one company instead of several customers at the same time.

If you believe you are an employee, then you probably will want to explore retaining an attorney in your area and/or filing a charge with the department of labor. Here is the link to the dept of labor form. http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/workplacefraudtaskforce/wpftcomplaintform.pdf

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, and I wish you all the best with this matter.
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
I am sending you this follow-up to determine if you require further assistance with your matter. I believe I have answered your question to the best of my abilities. I truly enjoy helping others with my knowledge and experience, and I believe I provide a valuable service. If you agree that my response was of value to you, please support my endeavor to share my knowledge by providing a positive rating. Providing a positive rating will not cost you any additional charge, but it will permit the website to credit me with answering your question. Otherwise, the website does not credit me with answering your question. Thanks.

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