Sometimes, employers take steps to reclassify workers when they think they can do so to save money. Unfortunately, sometimes those reclassifications are not legal and end up costing the employee money by classifying them incorrectly.
If you have stopped receiving overtime pay because you were reclassified as an independent contractor or because you have been reclassified as a salaried worker, you may still deserve overtime pay depending on the circumstances. For example, if your employer didn’t change your job at all and your salary is not at least $684 a week (as of 2020), then you may be able to seek compensation from them including back pay for overtime you worked.
You’re not an independent contractor just because your boss says you are
The independent contractor reclassification is one of the most troubling, because it often misleads people into believing that they don’t deserve benefits or overtime compensation. However, independent contractors are largely in control of their own workload and have a right to refuse working at certain times or working in certain ways as long as they fulfill their contracts.
To be an independent contractor, you would essentially be your own boss. If you’re still having to work normal hours, are expected to use your employer’s tools and techniques and haven’t had a major change in your role, then you may actually be an employee and have the right to question your employer’s reason for reclassifying your role.
Salaried workers may deserve overtime, too
Sometimes, workers are moved to salaried roles because employers know that they’ll save on overtime expenses. Texas law requires you to be paid at least $684 weekly and to have appropriate duties to exempt your employer from paying overtime. If you’re not part of a narrow exemption required by law, then your employer may need to pay you overtime on top of your salary.
It’s important to know your rights. Employers sometimes try to reclassify employees to save money, but in doing so, they may be in violation of the law. You could have the opportunity to seek compensation for all the additional time you’ve worked and to hold your employer accountable.