Are You An Employee Or Independent Contractor?

How workers are classified – whether they are considered to be employees or independent contractors, exempt or non-exempt – is often the starting point for many employment discrimination lawsuits. Understanding your proper classification is the first step in knowing your rights and remedies under the law.

In a recent disability discrimination lawsuit, a pathologist sued the hospital he worked for asserting that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

The pathologist had a contentious relationship with another doctor, his boss, who resigned from his position. Following his resignation, the pathologist’s contract with the hospital was terminated.

A crucial issue in the case was whether the pathologist should be classified as an employee. The answer to this question often centers on the issue of control. In this particular employment discrimination lawsuit, the court evaluated the entire relationship between the pathologist and the hospital – looking at control factors and their economic ties. “Control factors” focus on the degree of control an employer has over how a job is to be performed. The court noted that this question is somewhat unique in hospital settings as the result of the doctor/patient relationship.

While in this instance the court ultimately determined that the pathologist was an independent contractor, it underscores the importance of establishing at the outset of a job whether you are an employee or independent contractor, exempt or non-exempt, so that you know your rights.

For more information or if you believe you may have suffered any form of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate, confidential case evaluation.