AUSTIN, Texas — If you’re an employee but your boss wrongfully calls you an independent contractor, you may be missing a lot of money.
Those who are employees have their payroll taxes deducted by their employers and receive a W-2 each year showing taxes withheld. They are entitled to overtime and minimum wage.
Independent contracts work like an independent "company."
People who are misclassified can miss out on overtime pay and minimum hourly pay.
We told you earlier this year Texas Workforce Commission found 51,000 misclassified workers last year alone.
But the Department of Labor records show only 926 people were owed back wages.
The Texas Workforce Commission said it shares its information through an agreement, issuing this statement:
"Typically, employers will claim an exemption from the Payday Law due to being classified as an independent contractor. We conduct an investigation to determine if the individual was employed or not. If there are unpaid wages owed, a determination order will be sent to the employer requesting the payment of the unpaid wages. If it’s determined the claimant was misclassified, a Tax Referral is made to our Tax Department who may conduct a field investigation. In accordance with our memorandum of understanding (MOU), the findings of these investigations are shared with the Department of Labor (DOL).
"When the tax department finds misclassification workers, these workers have been paid the money owed to them, but they have been misclassified as independent contractors or contract labor, but they should have been listed as employees. For TWC tax purposes, when TWC identifies misclassified workers, we correct the employers quarterly reports as appropriate and charge the employer the new tax due as a result. State unemployment tax is an employer paid tax and is not deducted from an employees pay. TWC does not share names or social security numbers of misclassified worker with the IRS, but we do share statistics with them."
If you think you’re misclassified, notify these agencies:
- Texas Workforce Commission, Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline: 800-252-3642
- Department of Labor: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
- Internal Revenue Service: File Form SS-8
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