How workers are classified – whether they are considered to be employees
or independent contractors, exempt or non-exempt – is often the
starting point for many
employment discrimination lawsuits. Understanding your proper classification is the first step in knowing
your rights and remedies under the law.
In a recent disability discrimination lawsuit, a pathologist sued the hospital
he worked for asserting that the hospital violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The pathologist had a contentious relationship with another doctor, his
boss, who resigned from his position. Following his resignation, the pathologist’s
contract with the hospital was terminated.
A crucial issue in the case was whether the pathologist should be classified
as an employee. The answer to this question often centers on the issue
of control. In this particular employment discrimination lawsuit, the
court evaluated the entire relationship between the pathologist and the
hospital – looking at control factors and their economic ties. “Control
factors” focus on the degree of control an employer has over how
a job is to be performed. The court noted that this question is somewhat
unique in hospital settings as the result of the doctor/patient relationship.
While in this instance the court ultimately determined that the pathologist
was an independent contractor, it underscores the importance of establishing
at the outset of a job whether you are an employee or independent contractor,
exempt or non-exempt, so that you know your rights.
For more information or if you believe you may have suffered any form of
employment discrimination, please contact the experienced
Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLP for an immediate, confidential consultation.