Independent Contractors

You may be misclassified as an independent contractor.

Not all workers are employees, as they may be volunteers or independent contractors. Employers may improperly classify their employees as independent contractors so that they do not have to pay payroll taxes, the minimum wage, overtime, comply with other wage and hour law requirements such as providing meal periods and rest breaks, or reimburse their workers for business expenses incurred while performing their jobs. Additionally, employers do not have to cover independent contractors under workers’ compensation insurance, and are not liable for payments under unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or social security. Because the potential liabilities and penalties are significant if an individual is treated as an independent contractor and later found to be an employee, each working relationship should be thoroughly researched and analyzed before it is established.

How do I know if I am an employee or an independent contractor?
The person I work for tells me that I am an independent contractor and not an employee. He does not make any payroll deductions or withholdings for taxes, social security, etc., when he pays me, and at the end of the year he provides me with an IRS form 1099 rather than a W-2. By paying me in this manner does it mean I am automatically an independent contractor?
Does it make any difference if I am an employee rather than an independent contractor?
What can I do if I believe my employer has misclassified me as an independent contractor and as a result am not being paid any overtime?
What can I do if my employer retaliates against me because I thought I was misclassified as an independent contractor and objected to not being paid overtime?