How does re-categorizing independent contractors work?
April 15, 2011 7:58 PM Subscribe
My wife is looking into reporting her boss for miscategorizing her as an independent contractor. I'm quite sure she has been; her boss has even referred to the staff repeatedly as employees. (In materials we have saved.) We're looking for an employment attorney right now, but I've just got a couple preliminary questions to understand how this works.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
She's worked at this place for more than five years, longer than we've been together. Every aspect of her day is controlled by the employer, except that she has on rare occasions paid for some of her own materials. I've been telling her I thought this was a problem for awhile, but we had other things we were worrying about, mostly.
So, all in abstracts because you are not our lawyer, etc:
1. If someone is found to be an employee instead of a contractor, can they potentially file amended returns and get part of their SE tax back for the whole time they were supposedly a contractor? Or do the lose some portion of it for not having reported earlier?
2. Given the whole at-will thing, can an employee who reports their employer for this get fired for doing so? Would they become eligible for unemployment immediately upon being re-categorized as an employee? It's my general understanding that independent contractors aren't eligible.
Basically, we're trying to get a feel for the generality of whether there's a possibility of getting money back in amended taxes in order to make up for the risk of losing that income and whatever we might have to pay a lawyer, because right now we're still living very paycheck-to-paycheck. Not that we don't want to do the right thing, of course, but I just don't want us to get hurt more by having done this than by not.
Any other advice from people who've been through this is welcome. Thanks for the help.