Miami Employee Misclassification Lawyer

Miami-Dade County Employee Misclassification Lawyers

Misclassification of employees (for example, exempt versus non-exempt, employee versus independent contractor, and employee versus interns) is a common pitfall for companies and could subject the company to potential liability.

First, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), there are specific requirements that must be met in order for an employee to be properly classified as exempt from receiving overtime pay. There is a common misconception that paying an employee a salary is sufficient to avoid having to pay an employee overtime. Simply receiving a salary is not dispositive. In order to make a determination regarding whether an employee is properly classified as exempt under the FLSA, companies should seek the advice of an experienced employment lawyer in order to navigate the complexities of the statute and implementing regulations.

Similarly, when classifying an individual as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, companies should seek the advice of an experienced employment lawyer as there are several factors that must be examined in order to make the determination. Making a mistake with this determination can create significant exposure for the company. Even worse, in Florida, the intentional misclassification of a worker is a felony.

In Florida, the regulating agency is the Florida Department of Revenue. If the Department of Revenue investigates an employer, the employer is generally required to complete an Independent Contractor Analysis (Form RTS-6061) which contains a number of questions designed to determine the relationship between the worker and the employer. If the Department of Revenue makes an adverse finding, it could impose a monetary penalty against the company.

Further, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has evaluated internship programs under the FLSA and issued guidelines to help employers determine whether interns and students for “for-profit” employers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA. The analysis focuses on the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. Courts have identified different factors for evaluating the “economic reality.” For example, some courts look at the following factors:

  • Whether there is an understanding between the intern and employer that the position is not compensable;
  • Whether the internship provides training similar to what an educational program would provide, whether the internship is tied to the intern’s academic program, and whether the intern would receive credit for the internship; and
  • Whether the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.

This is not an exhaustive list and it is important for employers to seek the advice of counsel when deciding whether to classify an individual as an intern versus an employee.

To help navigate this minefield, contact an experienced attorney at BT Law Group who can explain the applicable statutes, defend against a government investigation or audit, or file a lawsuit on behalf of an employee who was improperly classified.

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Our Process
1.
Investigate

As a first step, your assigned legal team will gather and review records related to your claim, including any employment contract or offer letter, time sheets, any relevant communications, and any disciplinary actions, including performance improvement plans or termination paperwork.

These documents will help your attorneys evaluate your claims and develop a strategy to obtain the best results for your situation.

2.
Formulate

Once your legal team completes the initial investigation, they will work with you to determine the best legal strategy for your situation. Your legal team will make recommendations and will work with you to formulate the most effective approach to obtain your desired outcome.

3.
Advocate

After you and your legal team formulate the strategy, your legal team will advocate on your behalf to obtain your desired outcome. This could include negotiating a separation package, engaging in pre-suit negotiations, sending a demand letter, and/or filing a charge of discrimination or lawsuit on your behalf.

The attorneys at BT Law are experienced trial lawyers and will advocate for your rights in the courtroom as necessary.

Reviews

Jason and Anisley are one of the best decisions someone can make given the situation. They are knowledgeable, transparent, proactive and communicate with their clients. I have dealt with other attorneys in the past and I’m always frustrated because you don’t get information or you have to chase the attorney and staff down that’s not the case with them.

In finding the right lawyers to represent you, you want to have mutual respect and understanding for each other and clear communication to achieve your goals. BT Law Group is just that. They not only represented me to their fullest abilities, but went above and beyond to truly understand my goals and priorities and provide sound legal advice to achieve such. It was a pleasure working with both Anisley and Jason, I’d highly recommend them.

We very much enjoyed BT Law Group’s founding partner, Anisley Tarragona service and attention to detail. From the onset her approach was practical and conscious of providing the best legal advice while being mindful of suggesting cost effective, conservative solutions. We find her to be a great business partner to service all our employment related legal needs.

I received a prompt and very professional service by the BT Law Group. Ms Tarragona provides tailored advice in the best interest of the client. She was meticulous and explained the pros and cons of my case in very simple terms which allowed me to consider and take the best decision. Very happy with the service. Highly recommended.

Absolutely wonderful and professional services. Represented my mom in a caring and personalized manner. Knowledgeable and ethical. Thank you!

I always consult BT Law Group for employment law matters. They are responsive, practical and efficient. I recommend them to colleagues and friends.

Trusted advisors
Jason D. Berkowitz is a Founding Partner of BT Law Group, PLLC. Prior to starting BT Law, Mr. Berkowitz was a Partner in the Miami office of a national labor and employment law firm where he represented management exclusively.
Anisley Tarragona is a founding partner of BT Law Group, PLLC. Prior to starting BT Law, Ms. Tarragona worked in the Miami office of a national labor and employment law firm where she represented management exclusively. Ms. Tarragona, who was born and raised in Cuba, is fluent in Spanish.