I was hired as a graphic designer at a locally owned stationery store in California about a month and a half ago. From the start I knew something was kind of strange, as I was hired for full time but never signed a contract, and all my payments were given to me as untaxed checks.
At first I assumed I was being paid under the table, but when I was asking about taking Christmas off to see my family a comment from my boss raised a red flag: "I hire you as a contractor, so I'm not obligated to give you holiday time off."
I then did some research (and confirmed that my boss does indeed report our incomes), and found out that employers misclassifying employees as contractors is something that is done, often intentionally to avoid offering benefits and paying half of ss/medicare taxes.
I definitely should be classified as an employee, as:
- my boss manages when and where I work,
- all of the equipment and supplies I need to work are provided to me in-house, and
- I get paid hourly and work 40 hours a week.
This is obviously a bad situation for me, but it's also fraud if my boss is doing it intentionally. Is there anything I can really do about it? Is this a common thing? I'm really unsure how to handle it but I do feel like I'm being taken advantage of.
So far my only game plan is to talk to the store's accountant, as my boss has not been transparent about exactly how my income is reported and what I need to do to prepare my taxes.
TL;DR: I believe I'm being intentionally misclassified as a contractor and I'm unsure of what to do about it. Do I find another job? Do I file an SS-8? I need to know what to do about this.