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New debate on employee vs. independent contractor status

Do you know how you are classified by your employer? If you are labelled an independent contractor, do you understand the differences in your wages and benefits versus if you were an employee of a company?

This area of law can be tricky, especially as the job market and economy continues to change. This week, the Labor Department heavily debated wage and hour issues, including issues concerning employee and independent contractor statuses, the differences between the two and what the guidelines are for the definition of an employee.

A recent memo released by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division hopefully clarifies some of the confusion. Employers have been heavily debating the topic of employee classification with the government, especially as businesses shy away from traditional hiring techniques.

Bottom line? The definition of "employee" is broad. In fact, the guidelines for employee classification are much broader than employers may think.

This debate stresses the importance of proper employee classification, especially when it comes to technology-based jobs and jobs that may fall into a gray area (such as work in the construction industry). If your employee classification changes, it could positively impact your rest breaks, meal breaks, travel time to work and more.

If you believe you are misclassified or have concerns about wage and hour issues, it is important you seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney. An attorney can review your situation and help determine if you have a strong wage and hour claim, or an employee misclassification claim.

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