It’s possible as an employee to be misclassified as something you aren’t. For instance, you may be classified as an independent contractor when you’re actually working as an employee. While this doesn’t seem very important, it actually is. If you’re misclassified as the wrong kind of worker, you may be limited when it comes to workers’ compensation and other benefits.

Employees lose rights and are at a disadvantage when they aren’t classified correctly. They could end up being paid less than they should be or could end up paying taxes that should have been the employer’s liability. In any case, it’s vital that you know that you’re classified correctly if you’ve been working as an independent contractor in the past.

What’s the difference between an independent contractor and employee?

An independent contractor is completely free from direction and control from the employer, has his or her own business location, sets his or her own hours and determines his or her own price for services. Independent contractors provide their own equipment, while employees receive equipment from the employer. These are just a few differences to consider.

What should you do if you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’ve been misclassified, it may have been in error. If your employer doesn’t agree, he or she may have reasons why. If you still aren’t sure if you’re classified correctly, reach out to your attorney. He or she will look at the facts and determine if you have a potential case against your employer for being misclassified. Our site has more on what to do next.