Schaumburg employment law attorney for independent contractorsDepending on the industry or field of work, companies may hire employees or independent contractors (often called freelancers) or even a combination of both. Although either type of worker may perform similar job duties, it is important to understand the distinction between them as an employer. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) considers several factors to determine whether a worker is designated as an employee or an independent contractor. Some of the main differences between these types of workers include how they are paid, taxes, and insurance benefits. Every business is unique, and what works for one company may not work for another. If you are an Illinois business owner, it is imperative that you understand the laws and how they relate to your employees. In some situations, utilizing independent contractors may benefit your business in the long run.

Cost Savings

One of the major benefits of using independent contractors versus salaried employees is the cost savings. As a business owner, when you hire a worker who is classified as an employee, you have to pay additional expenses that you would not pay for an independent contractor. These costs include the following:

  • Medical/dental/vision insurance
  • Equipment/supplies/office space
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Social Security and Medicare taxes
  • Unemployment compensation insurance

Staffing Flexibility

In some cases, a company may only need workers for certain periods of time throughout the year. During these “busy times,” an employer can hire personnel based on fluctuating workloads. This alleviates having regular employees sitting around doing nothing during the “slow times.” In addition, independent contractors or freelancers may possess special skills or knowledge related to a project, reducing the time spent training newly hired employees. Using freelancers can also help you avoid potential lawsuits that can accompany layoffs or firings, since it is considered “contracted” or temporary work.

Liability

In terms of liability for wrongful termination or other matters such as workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, salaried employees have several rights under state and federal laws. This means they can pursue legal action against their employers if any of these rights are violated. Independent contractors are not protected by many of these laws; therefore, they cannot sue you for violations unless stipulated in their contract. Another benefit of using freelancers is that it provides employers a chance to make sure the workers are the right fit for a company before hiring them permanently.

Contact an Illinois Employment Law Attorney

Running a business, regardless of size, can be complicated and challenging. Whether you retain salaried employees or hire independent contractors, it is important to consult with legal professionals to make sure you are not violating any workers’ rights. The Miller Law Firm, P.C. is well-versed in all aspects of Illinois employment law, and we can advise you on legal matters that pertain to your line of work. Contact one of our skilled Schaumburg, IL employment lawyers to discuss your business practices. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.

Sources:

https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/independent-contractors/are-you-an-employee-or-independent-contractor-why-it-matters/

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Employees/Pages/default.aspx

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Illinois employment attorney minimum wageIn the state of Illinois and throughout the United States, there are certain protections that are guaranteed to employees. Illinois has specific laws that apply to most employees regarding wages and payment. In addition, the federal government has laws that offer further protections to employees’ wages and workers’ rights to fairness in the workplace. Though not all employers are required to comply, the vast majority of employers are expected to adhere to these rules. If an employee feels as if they are not being treated fairly in regards to wages, they have the right to file a complaint with the state and/or federal government. This can spell trouble for companies, as they could face serious consequences if they are found to have knowingly violated employment laws. Here are a few Illinois wage laws that all employers should be familiar with to avoid such legal ramifications:

Minimum Wage Law

Both the state of Illinois and the federal government have laws relating to the minimum hourly wage an employee can be paid. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, Illinois has set its own minimum wage, which, as of January 1, 2020, is $9.25 for any worker who is at least 18 years old. If an employee is under the age of 18, the minimum wage is $8.00. The Illinois minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2020.

Overtime Pay

Overtime hours and compensation can be a gray area for many employers and employees. Both state and federal laws specify that overtime pay is owed to any employee who works more than 40 hours in one workweek. Overtime pay must be “time-and-a-half” of the employee’s usual hourly rate. For example, if an employee’s normal hourly rate is $10.00 per hour, and they worked overtime, they would be paid $15.00 for every hour over 40 hours that they worked.

Holiday, Vacation, and Sick Pay

There is no federal or state law that requires employees to receive pay for days that they take off or have off due to vacation, holidays, or illness. However, if an employer has entered a contract or agreement that states that an employee will be paid for holidays, vacation days, and/ or sick days, the employer must abide by the terms of the agreement.

Have Questions About Wage Laws? A Schaumburg Employment Law Attorney Can Help

It is extremely important for all employers to be aware of current employment laws, especially as they pertain to employees’ wages. The best way to handle wage issues is to prevent them from arising. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we can help your company stay informed about all of the state and federal laws pertaining to wages and how they can affect your business. Our knowledgeable Illinois employment lawyer can help you be proactive about complying with wage laws, and we can provide representation if an employee brings an action against you. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-995-1205.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/minimum-wage-law.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Documents/VA%20FAQ.pdf

Posted in Employment Lawyer, FLSA, Minimum Wage, Overtime, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois employment lawyerEmployment law is complex and can include many different types of lawsuits, including class action and collective action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit is a single lawsuit that is taken to court to represent a group of employees who have all experienced the same alleged actions taken by the employer. A class action lawsuit is typically used when it would be impractical to take each individual case to court. Instead, an attorney or a group of attorneys is used to represent all employees who are involved in the lawsuit. Protecting yourself as a business is extremely important if you find yourself the target of a class action employment lawsuit.

What Is the Difference Between a Class Action and Collective Action Lawsuit?

These two types of lawsuits are similar to each other, though they do differ in a few ways. In a class action lawsuit, one employee can file a lawsuit for everyone who works for the same company. Once the court grants permission for the case to proceed, all of the employees included in the lawsuit will be notified of their ability to “opt-out” or not participate in the lawsuit.

In a collective action lawsuit, employees who want to participate in the lawsuit have to sign a legal document to “opt-in” or agree to participate in the suit. In a class action lawsuit, all employees are automatically considered to be part of the class unless they specifically state they do not want to be.

What Issues Can Be Addressed in Class Action or Collective Action Lawsuits?

The employee/employer relationship can be difficult to navigate at times. Many issues can arise between an employer and their employees, including the following:

  • Wage disputes: Some of the most common disputes between employers and employees are concerning wages, which are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees may claim that they were not paid minimum wage when they were supposed to be or they may claim that they were never given overtime pay when they should have been. There are many exceptions to wage rules, which a class action defense attorney can bring to light.
  • Sexual harassment: Every employer has the responsibility to ensure their workplace is safe and free of harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment. If a claim is brought against a business that the company did nothing to stop or prevent sexual harassment, they can get into serious trouble.
  • Discrimination: Both Illinois state and federal laws prohibit discrimination of employees based on sex, religion, race, age, disability or national origin. Discrimination can come in many forms, both obvious and not so obvious. Often, to prove an employer was involved in discriminatory practices, the employee would have to demonstrate that other “similarly situated” employees were treated better than them.

Get Help From an Illinois Class Action Employer Defense Attorney Today

Being hit with a class action or a collective action lawsuit can be stressful and damaging. As an employer, you have to prove that you were not in the wrong if a lawsuit is brought against you. At the Miller Law Firm, P.C., we have the experience you need in an attorney to effectively combat any class action or collective action lawsuit that you may be facing. Our skilled Schaumburg, IL class action employer defense lawyer will do everything in his power to protect you in court. Call our office today at 847-995-1205 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-a-class-action-lawsuit-3623787

https://riskandinsurance.com/employee-lawsuits-are-costly-win-or-lose-these-4-trends-are-making-the-risks-more-severe/

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