If I am a contracted employee with the company, can the employer require for me to work for 12 hours and only pay me $200 per week?

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If I am a contracted employee with the company, can the employer require for me to work for 12 hours and only pay me $200 per week?

Asked on March 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are an independent contractor, then you will be paid whatever you agreed to be paid when accepting the work.

If you are an employee, you must be paid at least minimum wage (currently $7.75/hour) and you must be paid overtime whenever you work more than 40 hours per week.

The key issue then is whether you are independent contractor or employee. It does not matter what the employer calls you or how they want to pay you; what matters is the reality of your job. For the detailed criteria for when someone is an employee or independent contractor, go to the U.S. Department of Labor Website. In brief, an independent contractor has at least some degree of independence--some control over how, when, and where he or she does the job. If you have to work a shift or schedule set by the employer, the employer directs or tells you how to do the job, you work always at the employer's location, the employer provides your tools or equipment, and you neither have other clients nor even are in a position where you could look for or have other clients, then you may be an employee not an independent contractor.

If you think you are actually an employee, you may be owed back wages and overtime for all the work you did but were underpaid for. If this may be the case, either contract your state department of labor and file a complaint or speak with an employment law attorney.


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