I am a Computer Programmer, working in Washington DC, I have been working for the past 10 years for the same company, initially came to the company as an independent contractor being paid hourly $86 an hour, the contract expired after the first year and was not renewed, but continued working with no contract, until now. Four years ago the company was purchased by a very large corporation, which did not want Independent contractors, my assumption is to avoid IRS liability, and wants only employees, and hence is putting a lot of controls like no pay for over 40 hours work but forced to take comp time and have made it very difficult to stay on board, I guess their main goal is for me to leave, them not having a contract in place to either fire or terminate. My questions are, given the fact I have no other clients, and they control my hours and place of work, and assignments, and feel as if I am an employee fully controlled, but have no benefits as all of my other friends at work. I have done a lot of reading online but still have a lot of questions not answered:
1.Would this qualify as Independent Contractor misclassification ? In the court system would I be awarded compensation for taxes and benefits ? What re my legal rights and potential monetary legal compensation ? Is my case covered under the health care reform in regards to me being covered by health insurance ?
2.Given my hourly rate, I read the DOL acts which seem to apply to minimum wage hourly earners, does any of the fair labor acts apply to my case ?
3.Lately I have been forced to sign an independent contractor agreement backtracking to 4 years ago, not sure why ? I have not signed ? What to do ?
4.What are my choices other than just leaving ?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The contract/employee dilemma
This is not a tough question at all. If the employer controls the method and manner of work, as well as the location, more likely than not you will be able to make them recognize you as an employee. This is especially true where there is no contract between the parties.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH AN ATTORNEY. Gee, I wonder if that was distinct enough.
I have personal experience in this field -- I own a technology company AND a law firm. I truly understand the breadth of the problem you face. Give me a ring and let's discuss your options. We can help. 703-402-2723.