When you accept a job in California and agree to work under an employer, understanding your rights as an employee or in an independent contractor position is essential. Misunderstanding these terms may cause many workers to experience unfair treatment from their employers. Failure to uphold employment rights at a workplace can result in penalties for businesses. However, employers that often intentionally misclassify employees do so to avoid accountability for providing benefits and accurately compensating their labor.
In this case, improperly classified contractors have the right to take legal action by filing a complaint and partnering with an attorney to recover loss of wages, benefits, attorney fees, and other associated losses due to an employer’s error. At Blackstone Law, our team’s integrity and experienced employment law representation may help you protect your rights and recover what you are owed in any case.
Understanding an Independent Contractor Classification in California
Many employers try to evade paying proper wages, unemployment or disability benefits, and other ways of upholding a worker’s rights by misclassifying for tax and business advantages. To determine the proper classification for your labor and employment, you may look at the details of your labor, workday, and wages.
You may be an independent contractor in California if you:
- Choose and set your hours when providing labor services for the company.
- You perform work for other businesses outside of your services for the company.
- You do not receive unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits and do not have tax withholding from your income with any businesses.
Under California’s contractor laws, a contractor is a person or business that provides specific services to another business in exchange for compensation. Depending on what your job entails, your hours in a work week, and the wages you receive, you may be misclassified as an independent contractor and are missing out on vital benefits.
6 Ways to Know if You Are Being Misclassified by Your California Employer
California law outlines distinctions between an employee and an independent contractor. The classifications are not the same, and contractors are not entitled to the benefits of a standard employee. When it comes to employee classification, employers have to observe laws such as the California Assembly Bill 5, which as of 2019, requires employers to reclassify contractors as employees, except for a few circumstances.
Here are six ways to know if you may be misclassified as an independent contractor by a California employer:
1. You Are Not in Control of Your Schedule or Working Hours
A common benefit of being a contractor is determining your labor and how your services are completed for a business. If you are working for a business owner or company and have little or no control over your hours, this is often a way to tell you are misclassified.
2. The Business or Your Employer Controls Your Labor
Contractors typically present proposals and job descriptions to a business for its services. If you work for a company and the business owners determine your work and what your job entails, you may be classified incorrectly as a contractor.
3. The Employer Determines the Work That Is Done and How It Will Be Completed
When contractors make agreements with a business, they often have majority rule over the work completed and how the services are performed. You may be misclassified if you have little control over the labor, skill level, and other factors.
4. An Employer-Employee Relationship Exists
A tell-tale sign of misclassification is if an employer hired, paid, or supervised the labor of an employee. This often signifies an employee-employer relationship, which may mean a contractor is misclassified in this case.
5. The Employer Provides the Equipment and Materials for the Labor
When contractors perform labor and services, they control the equipment and materials they use. If a business owner or company pays for the industrial equipment and materials necessary for your labor, this is also a way to tell you may be an employee rather than a contractor.
6. You Hold a Temporary or Permanent Working Position Determined by the Business
Depending on the nature of your labor, jobs can be temporary or permanent. If you are at will or have no control over the working position with a company, you may be misclassified. Termination of employment in a contracting position affects your ability to receive unemployment benefits or other rights you may be entitled to as an actual employee.
An estimated 10 to 30 percent of employers yearly misclassify their employees as independent contractors. With the help of a California employment lawyer, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for the lost wages and other benefits resulting from your employer’s actions in violating your rights.
Partner With Our Reliable Employment Attorneys at Blackstone Law to Help Protect Your Rights
If you are misclassified as an independent contractor, retaining the legal aid of our employment lawyer at Blackstone Law may help you. You may recover compensation through an eligible lawsuit by determining if your rights are violated and taking legal action. Additionally, if you are wrongfully terminated as a contractor by an employer, you may be entitled to unemployment compensation and pursue a lawsuit to hold the business owner accountable for violating your rights.
With the help of our compassionate legal team, our aggressive defense strategies may benefit the outcome of your case. We strive to uphold our client’s rights and have the resources, experience, and legal knowledge to continue providing exemplary service. To speak with our team, complete a contact form or give us a call at (310) 956-4054 to schedule a consultation.