Many companies misclassify employees as independent
contractors, often in an attempt to avoid paying these individuals
overtime compensation and/or employee benefits. This practice
is illegal under both federal and state laws, which have strict
rules outlining when an individual may be classified as an
independent contractor. If it is proven that an employee has
been misclassified as an independent contractor, the
employee may be entitled to back wages, employee benefits, and
What is being done about employee misclassification in New
Due to the number of complaints received from individuals in New
Jersey who believe they were misclassified as independent
contractors, attorneys at Berger & Montague,
P.C. are actively investigating these potential claims to determine
if class and collective action lawsuits may be brought to help
misclassified employees recover the compensation owed to them.
If you suspect that you have been misclassified as an
independent contractor, we welcome you to contact us by using
the form on this page for a free and confidential potential case
New Jersey Employee Misclassification
Q: Do I need to act
A: You should be aware that under both federal law and state
laws there are limited time periods in which individuals are
permitted to file a claim. This is called the statute of
limitations. All claims are subject to these limitations
periods. The statute of limitations for a federal wage and
hour claim is generally a minimum of two years and a maximum of
three years from the date an individual joins a lawsuit in writing.
The statutes of limitations under some state wage and hour
laws may be longer than the time limit under federal law.
Thus, if you believe you were misclassified as an independent
contractor in New Jersey, you should contact us as soon as possible
to preserve your potential claims.
Q: Do I have to pay
any fees to the attorneys?
A: Our law firm is handling this investigation on a contingent
fee basis. This means that we will only be paid if a lawsuit
is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or a
final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that
settlement or final judgment. You do not have to pay anything
to our law firm in order to participate in this investigation or
any resulting lawsuit.
Q: How do I prove my
claim for unpaid wages and overtime?
A: Where the employer does not keep accurate time records,
the law permits employees to make a good faith estimate of their
overtime or hours worked. Where the employer keeps accurate
time records, those records may be used.
Q: What have the courts said?
A: On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey
addressed this issue in a case entitled Hargrove v. Sleepy's
LLC, 220 N.J. 289 (2015). In Hargrove,
the Court determined the proper test for determining whether an
employee may be considered an independent contractor under
applicable New Jersey state wage-and-hour laws. According to
the Court, New Jersey employers may only classify an individual as
an independent contractor if the employer can show that an
individual providing services:
(A) Is free from the company's control in performing the
(B) Performs work outside the usual course of the company's
business or outside the company's place of business; and
(C) Is engaged in an independently established business.
Hargrove, 220 N.J. at 305 (citing N.J.S.A. §