Wage and hour- who’s the boss?

Hourly. Salary. Independent contractor. Gig worker in the sharing economy. In the decentralized, subcontracted work world, who’s responsible for paying you what the law requires? Is it the customer? Is the contractor you report to? Is it the big business above them? All or none of the above?

Our federal and state labor laws about wages and hours are easily applied to traditional employer-employee relationships. In those cases, the requirements and limits of minimum wage, required overtime, and benefits like health insurance and retirement have been spelled out for decades.

But the wage and hour laws also apply to nontraditional workers in emerging workplaces. To people who are labeled “independent contractors”, but who aren’t independent enough to be small business people on their own. The technical term is “misclassification.” Professionals in health care, such as nurses and techs, should pay close attention and review whether they are properly classified as contractors or employees.

Maybe they call you a boss, a supervisor, or a manager, etc. and classify you as exempt from overtime. It’s more than just the title. “Supervisors” without substantial authority over others may be misclassified, too.

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