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Job misclassification

Job misclassification happens when a company incorrectly says that you are an independent contractor instead of an employee. This affects your pay, benefits, and protection.

Learn the myths of misclassification and how to protect your rights.

Myths of misclassification

Federal labor laws may say that you are an employee based on your interaction with a company. This includes the amount of instructions you receive or if the relationship is temporary or continuous. You can be an employee even if a company:

  • Sends you a 1099 tax form
  • Makes you sign a contractor agreement
  • Verbally states that you are an independent contractor
  • Pays you in cash or off the books
  • Claims that being a contractor is standard practice
  • Requires you to work offsite

See other job misclassification myths.

How to report job misclassification

Job misclassification affects your pay, access to employee benefits, and protection.

Report job misclassification to the Department of Labor:

LAST UPDATED: April 1, 2024


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