What to do if I was hired as an independent contractor but in no way fit the definition of independent contractor?

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What to do if I was hired as an independent contractor but in no way fit the definition of independent contractor?

I worked for my employer for fa little over 5 months. During this time I was required to work at an office for eight hours a day Monday through Friday. I was also required at answer phones after hours and on weekend, as well as check office email after hours and on weekends without pay. I was yelled at and almost fired for not answering a call from him on a Friday night, on a weekend he knew I was moving on. I was recently terminated. Is he in violation of the law?

Asked on October 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Terminating you would not be in violation of the law, since without an employment contract, you may be terminated at any time. However, if you were mischaracterized as, and paid as, an independent contract when you fact were an employee, you may be due compensation: e.g. the employer portion of social security, etc. taxes, which you would have paid; overtime, if you ever worked any; the value of benefits, like health insurance or vacations, which you should have received; etc. From what you write, it seems that you may in fact have been an employee--the degree of control your employer exercised over you is characteristic of employees, not independent contractors. You should contact your state department of labor.


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