Determining Whether You Are A Independent Contractor Or An Employee
Because it is advantageous in terms of less tax and less regulation, employers sometimes try to call an employee an ‘independent contractor’. There are significant legal complications about being treated as an independent contractor.
At Golan Law, P.C., in Los Angeles, you can count on knowledgeable legal advice and advocacy in these complex employment law matters. To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us today.
Why should being classified as an independent contractor instead of employee matter to you?
Employees who are treated as independent contractors lose important rights.
- You are not eligible for worker’s comp or to unemployment insurance.
- Wage and hour laws don’t cover you.
- You don’t get any overtime pay.
- Your inclusion under California OSHA or Federal OSHA to ensure a safe and healthy work environment is not allowed.
- You are not entitled to employee benefits such as vacations, sick days, pension plans, stock options and health insurance.
- You are not eligible for various legal protections afforded to employees, such as protection from discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, working in an unsafe environment and being paid your wages on your last day of work.
How do you know whether you are an independent contractor or an employee?
Your classification as a contractor or employee depends on whether you or your employer controls the manner and the means that you complete tasks.
How does California determine if you are an independent contractor?
Lists of factors are applied by California to determine who controls the manner and means of the job.
Some of the factors are:
- If the employer can discharge you at will and without cause
- If you are contracted in a specific occupation
- If the work is normally done under supervision or by an expert who is not supervised
- The place where the work is done and who supplies the tools, instruments and equipment
- How long you provided the services
- If the work is fragment of your regular business
- If you are in an employer-employee relationship as believed by you and the employer
Your employer is liable for paying you all unpaid wages, overtime pay, penalties for not classifying you as an independent contractor, should you be found to be an employee.
Your employer must have paid you all your wages timely if you are fired or laid off, and found to have been an employee; the employer may be liable for these if he did not:
- Regardless of the actual amount of unpaid wages due, penalties may be up to 30 times the employee’s daily wage
- Lost income and benefits while you were unemployed