Does the minimum wage law apply to an independent contractor?

I was hired (and paid) as an independent contractor but I believe I should have been paid as a waged employee – my former employer set my hours, required that I work from the office and determined what work I did and how I did it. They are denying me money for, what I believe to be, work that I have already done. If I am unable to get compensated for the time I worked as an employee, I was hoping that minimum wage requirements apply to a 1099. I worked 40-48 hours a week and averaged less than minimum wage.

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Minimum wage laws do not apply to work for hire or independent contractors because you are normally paid for accomplishing a service or in conjunction with the purchase of parts. You have described what could be tantamount to being an employee and your employer's attempts at circumventing the law. You need to do the following. You need to contact your state department of labor and file a complaint and also keep in mind this will impact your taxes, so you will need to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to go through the process of re-evaluating your taxes and that of your employer so that you can be switched to the W-2. There is a time period (I believe it may be still in effect) that allows you or your employer to do this with the IRS without penalty.

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