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CA Independent Contractor Law

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors

It is not uncommon for employers to improperly classify their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying certain employer expenses (overtime, minimum wage, taxes, etc.) and complying with other wage and hour law requirements.

Independent contractors are not entitled to the same legal protections as employees, and thus when workers are misclassified as independent contractors, they are denied the pay and benefits that may otherwise be entitled to them under the law.

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Independent contractors under California Law

There is no set definition of the term "independent contractor." In California, if there is a dispute as to whether an individual should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor, the worker is presumed to be an employee.

Determining whether a worker is an independent contractor

Court decisions have provided some guidelines as to which factors are relevant to the determination of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. These include:

  • the degree of control that an employer has over a worker;
  • the degree to which the worker is engaged in an independent business;
  • whether the person performing services is engaged in an occupation or business distinct from that of the employer's business;
  • who supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place for the person doing the work;
  • the skill required in the particular occupation;
  • the length of time for which the services are to be performed;
  • the degree of permanence of the working relationship; and
  • the method of payment, whether by time or by the job.

Incorrectly classified as an independent contractor?

Think you are wrongly classifed as an independent contractor? Misclassified workers may be entitled to back wages and under benefits under the law. Free and confidential evaluations are available with an employment lawyer by calling (866) 981-4800 or by filling out the form to the right.

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