As a worker in Tennessee, you may face employee misclassification across many industries. Especially here in Nashville, where many small and mid-sized businesses rely on the constant influx of entertainers and others who are hoping to stake out their piece of Music City, many employers offer workers pitifully little in entry level jobs. They operate under the implication that if a worker does not care to deal with the terms of employment, then he or she can move along and be replaced with someone else who has rent to pay.
In many industries, workers are unfairly classified as independent contractors outside of the guidelines established by the government. This is usually to allow employers to avoid paying overtime pay or steer around paying a certain amount of taxes on a given worker.
If you believe that your employer is unfairly classifying you at your job, you can consult with an experienced employment law attorney to understand how the law may apply to you circumstances. You may find that you have more opportunities than you realize to collect fair pay and additional compensation, and may bring further scrutiny from the IRS to your employer, ensuring that others will not suffer the same injustice you do.
Compensation for misclassification
If your employer is, in fact, misclassifying you, then you are probably owed significant back pay for unpaid overtime and unfairly assessed tax burden. However, in cases of misclassification, courts may also choose to award you additional compensation for your claim. The Department of Labor is particularly fond of identifying and punishing employers who misclassify employees, and may award you significantly for your efforts.
Tax implications for the employer
If the IRS learns that an employer willfully or negligently misclassified an employee, it may require the employer to not only pay the taxes it already owes with the associate penalties, but double the tax burden as a measure of punishment.
When it comes to businesses failing to pay the taxes that it owes to the government, the IRS is not particularly flexible.
Protecting your rights to a fair workplace and a fair wage
If you receive poor treatment or unfair wage practices in the workplace, it is almost certain that you are not alone. By choosing to stand up and force your employer to uphold their duty to pay and classify employees fairly, you not only protect your own rights and income, you protect the rights of those who do not have your conviction or strength. Do not hesitate to examine your circumstances and determine a strong path forward.