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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 102380
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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I have worked in Las Vegas, NV realty company last three

Customer Question

I have worked in Las Vegas, NV for a realty company for the last three years. My employer classifies me as an independent contractor instead of an employee. I am required to work 40 hours per week at a specific office, working a specific schedule of 8-5. I do not get vacation, raises, overtime, or benefits.
A couple weeks ago I questioned my boss as to whether I'm really an employee vs. an independent contractor, and I attempted to negotiate some time off and an increase in pay, but I was shut down. Today, I was fired (though I have a one year contract) and was told it stemmed from this conversation about employee status. (This was not a criteria for termination as outlined in our contract). I was given two weeks pay as severance. My question is: was I really an independent contractor or an employee? And what is my legal recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Some companies will attempt to classify workers as contractors to avoid the taxes, duties, and other law related obligations that come with having employees.

The problem is that this is a case by case basis. The IRS has a "test" that it uses that has subjective factors - see HERE. Most government agencies have a similar type of test and the Courts also employ a similar method to determine status.

Now, even if you were an employee, the employer can basically fire an employee for any reason. However, amongst the exceptions to that is "public policy" - an employer cannot fire an employee if the employee brings up valid requests for rights/accommodations.

So arguably - arguably - the employer unlawfully terminate the employment under the "public policy" doctrine, but to PROVE this, someone in your situation would have to show:

1) That indeed even if classified as contractor, one was really an employee and treated as such, and

2) Was terminated for bringing this up with the employer and requesting employee rights.

Someone in your situation may wish to talk to an attorney about this, and/or, contact the Nevada Labor Commissioner HERE.

Good luck.

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Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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