What To Do If You Were Misclassified As An Independent Contractor?

For most employees, not getting the right wage is an injustice. You work hard for 8 hours and even work overtime if necessary only to end up not being paid the wage they deserved. This is a longstanding problem that has plagued the American workforce. The website of William Kherkher reveals that misclassifying a regular employee as an independent contractor leaves them out on many important benefits.

For many employers, such practice saves them a lot of money so that even if the employee should be treated as such under the law, companies are willing to break the law just to save some money. The US Department of Labor revealed that around 10 to 30% of employers misclassify their employees. IN four states that have conducted studies, it was found out that around 1.8 million workers were found to have been misclassified.

As an employee, what can you do to recover the wages you have lost? First, try to talk to your employer. Clarify with them your real classification with them. Explain to them that you think they have wrongly classified you as an independent contractor. After all, you deserve an explanation from them why they consider you as a contractor than an employee.

If talking to your employer does not solve the problem, get the attention of the IRS. You can ask the agency to determine your employment status for the purpose of taxation. You can file IRS Form SS-8 and there is no fee for doing so. Upon receipt of your complaint, the IRS will call your employer in order to determine what your status should be. The decision of the IRS shall be binding on the agency and not on your employer. However, non-compliance by an employer can have legal ramifications.

If you were fired or laid off by your employer, you can file for an employment insurance claim. Tell them that you were misclassified as a contractor. If after the investigation and the state unemployment agency deemed that you should be treated as an employee, you will be entitled to receive your backpay as well as insurance premiums.

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Types of Visitors in a Premise Liability Claim

Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that your premises are safe for your tenants. This is also the assumption that they will have once they occupy one of your units. But at the same time, visitors also have a reciprocal duty of care towards the property owner. When this responsibility is breached, the tenant or visitor can file a premise liability claim.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, it is the duty of property owners to ensure the proper upkeep and maintenance of their surroundings. However, the liability of the property owner depends on the legal status of the visitor. Generally, there are three types of visitors in a property:

Invitee

An invitee enters the premises for business purposes at the owner’s request. Examples of an invitee include customers, contractors, sales people, repair men, and others.

Licensee

This is a person who was invited at the premises by the property owner through invitation. For example, there is a party at the property. A licensee can make the property owner liable if they are able to prove three elements:

  1. The owner was aware of any condition or would discover the condition and realizes or should realize that it has an unreasonable risk of harm to the licensee
  2. There is an expectation that the licensee will not discover or realize the danger or will fail to protect themselves from it
  3. The owner failed to show reasonable care to protect the licensee from potential risks

Trespassers

A trespasser is neither an invitee nor a licensee so the property owner does not have any duty of care to them. If they get injured while inside the premises, they cannot file a claim. However, the owner cannot deliberately make the surrounding risky for trespassers. If he does so, the trespasser can make him civilly and criminally liable.

While they are just visitors to the premises, they have the legal duty to mitigate any injuries. They should take reasonable precautions to prevent injury. If the visitor gets injured, they should properly treat the injury or else they could not make the property owner liable.

Likewise, in most states, comparative fault is adopted. Thus, if the visitor was partially or fully responsible for their injuries, they cannot recover damages.

 

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Seat Belt Defect: Cause of Thousands of Fatal Car Crashes Annually

If the same problem has been the reason why a group of vehicles of the same design has been involved in an accident, then it may be necessary that such vehicle be recalled. Vehicle recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), may be necessary:

  • If the defect complained about poses a risk to the safety of the driver, passengers or anyone else on the road
  • If the vehicle itself or any of its parts does not comply with the minimum performance requirement set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These standards help make sure that a vehicle can be operated safely and that the driver and passengers would have enough protection from serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Thus, there are standards for tires, brakes, lighting, child restraints, air bags and safety belts, among others.

Vehicle recalls usually happen due to complaints consumers make to the vehicle manufacturer or to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), a department of the NHTSA. Regarding safety belts or seat belts for example, Chrysler, specifically, is said to have recalled (in October of 2014) about 184,215 SUVs around the globe due to defective airbags and seat belts; this is besides the more than 850,000 Ford vehicles that were recalled a month earlier due to the same problems.

Seat belts are still considered the best protection for drivers and passengers during car accidents. This is because these crash-safety devices protect drivers and passengers from hitting with great force any of a car’s interior parts (such as a door window, dashboard, or windshield) after the primary impact, that is when a car hits another vehicle or object. But while seat belts may be said to save thousands of lives, there have also been instances when it was rather the cause of injury or death – due to defects.

A defective or malfunctioning seat belt, may be due to poor manufacturing or poor design, can cause a person to suffer serious injuries during a secondary impact (when he or she slams into an interior part of a vehicle, or is thrown outside, smashing into the windshield and then with whatever thing in the exterior environment). In fact, every year, at least 10,000 (of the more than 30,000) individuals who die in car crashes are said to have died due to faulty seat belts.

The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, know for a fact that all those who purchase vehicles fully assume that the vehicle, with all its parts, is in good operating condition, has complied with all the safety requirements set by the FMVSS and is free of any defect. While it can be said that no one more than the manufacturers would want their vehicles to be defective and, worse, be the cause of accidents and injuries, thorough tests on their vehicles’ design and performance may just show a flaw they never think might exist. In short, despite the never-intended defects, once an accident occurs, its consequences would be on their shoulders.

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Outsourcing in the Philippines: Types of Services and Its many Advantages

There are two factors that make offshore outsourcing a continuously growing industry in developing countries: the need of a host company (from a developed country, such as the United States or United Kingdom) to cut costs and maximize profits, and the capability of a third party organization to access and deliver digital data (fast and easy) almost anywhere around the globe through the use of global electronic internet network.

Offshore outsourcing refers to the practice of contracting out a business process to an external third party organization (located in another country). Besides cutting costs and maximizing profits as the main reasons why host firms resort to this business strategy, lack of individuals with the necessary skills is also cited as another essential factor – a concern that can easily be addressed by the chosen third party firm and at a much lower cost too. This is because cost of salary and operating costs in developing countries, considering currency conversion, is definitely so much lower compared to performing the same business functions in the host firm’s own country.

According to www.ppocoutsourcing.com, among the many developing countries, the Philippines is one country where offshore outsourcing has grown particularly fast. Some of the reasons for this include: the government’s increasing support on IT investment and the availability of good telecommunication infrastructures that are reasonably priced; high-quality locations at low cost; income-tax holiday offered by the government; and, a large pool of graduates (up to 400,000 every year) with good English communication skills and knowledge in ICT as potential candidates for needed job vacancies (this means that outsourced projects are handled by English speaking and highly-skilled professionals).

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Workers’ Compensation: Source of Cash Benefits to Workers Who Sustain Injuries or Illnesses that are Work-related

There are different reasons why workers get injured on the job, with some injuries being serious enough as to affect their financial capacity. This happens if an injury renders a worker not capable of reporting back to work immediately due to the severity of the physical harm that he or she has sustained. Some of the most common causes of injury that the US Department of Labor has identified include:

  • Arguments or office politics leading to violent acts
  • Continuous repetitive motion, which can result to back pains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Getting entangled or caught in machines, a case most common in factories
  • Driving accident , a case common among company drivers
  • Being struck by a falling object, machine or vehicle, which is common among construction workers
  • Falling from a scaffold, ladder, stairs, roof or any elevated place
  • Slipping or tripping, which is actually the second most common cause of workplace injuries (the first is falls)
  • Overexertion due to pulling, pushing, carrying, or lifting heavy objects

The law allows workers who suffer job-related injuries or who develop an illness due to exposure to hazardous substances to receive financial benefits through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program (also known as Workers’ Comp). This financial assistance may be received by an injured worker, regardless of whose fault the accident (which caused the injury) is; it is specifically intended to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation and death.

Workers’ Compensation is mandated and administered by the state. While the Federal government, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires employers to create a safe and healthy working environment where all their employees can perform their daily job without risk or fear of getting injured, this same government, as well as state governments, also require that employers make Workers’ Compensation coverage a part of employee benefits. Often, however, despite the injury or illness, employers and insurance providers make it so hard for workers to claim the benefits they are legally entitled to receive. The reason, clearly, is higher cost on the part of employers, meaning, the more workers getting injured or the higher the amount of benefits being claimed by an injured worker, the higher the insurance premiums the employer will have to pay.

Regardless of the costs an employer will have to pay though, the website of law firm Robert Wilson & Associates emphasizes the right of workers, whose injury or illness is job-related, to the cash benefits that they have a legal right to receive. It is necessary, however, that workers also understanding this right, its limits and the requirements that will make them qualify to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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