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Questions That Employees And Employers Often Ask Us About The Law

At Duffy North in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our attorneys and staff devote time and thought into answering questions from clients and potential clients. Review the questions and answers about employment law below; then, bring your own concerns to our attention in an initial consultation.

Am I a contractor or an employee?

This is a nuanced discussion. But broadly, if a hiring entity directs you in how to carry out your duties and pays you for your work, Pennsylvania considers you an employee (or you have an employee) unless proven otherwise.

You may be an independent contractor (or a contractor sent by another employer) if you fulfill tasks based on mutual agreement with a hiring entity without direct control over your performance. As an independent contractor, you should be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

These brief summaries may not address all details and exceptions relevant to your situation. For a personalized confirmation of your status as an employee or an independent contractor, schedule a consultation with one of our employment law attorneys.

Why does it matter whether a worker is considered an employee or a contractor?

An employer has numerous legal responsibilities regarding employees. An employer normally must:

  • Withhold taxes from an employee’s pay and remit it to the government
  • Cover an employee with workers’ compensation insurance
  • Provide health insurance, paid time off and other benefits that the company promises to employees
  • Pay hourly employees overtime when they are required to work more than 40 hours in a workweek

A hiring entity must comply with rules pertaining to employees for those workers who fit that description. In the case of a contractor, different criteria and requirements apply. A contractor is responsible for their own taxes and health care. Additional criteria apply to construction workers who are independent contractors.

It is very important for workers to understand whether they are correctly classified as employees or independent contractors. Your status as an employee or independent contractor can matter greatly if you are injured on the job or if you attempt to collect unemployment insurance. If in doubt, ask an attorney for more information.

What is the difference between an exempt or nonexempt employee?

A manager or executive may be salaried rather than paid by the hour. They are exempt from overtime laws because they may be expected to work more than 40 hours a week as needed to fulfill their duties. An hourly worker, on the other hand, is not exempt and must be paid at least one-and-a-half times their normal hourly wages for extra hours worked beyond 40 per week.

My boss says I am exempt because my job title is “manager.” However, the duties I carry out are identical to those of hourly workers. They are paid overtime and I am not. What can I do?

Your employer may be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). First, keep meticulous records about what your employer is requiring of you day by day. To discuss your rights and options for remedying an FLSA violation, consult with one of our employment law attorneys.

Get Answers To Your Pennsylvania Employment Law Questions

Call us at 215-914-9939 or send a message to request a free consultation with a lawyer at Duffy North in Montgomery County.