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Northern California Employment Law Attorneys
Employee Misclassification

California Employee Misclassification Lawyer

Misclassification Can Cost You Benefits & Protections

Are you an independent contractor or an employee? While it may not seem important, it certainly is! How your employer classifies you can play a big role in determining what benefits and protections you recieve. Some California employers deliberately misclassify an employee as an independent contractor in an attempt to save money. This is not only unlawful, but it also can cause serious financial and other difficulties for the misclassified employee.

Learn how to tell if you should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor and why this difference can affect your family's finances. Contact a Sacramento employment lawyer today.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

In California, the presumption is that a worker is an employee unless the weight of the evidence shows that the worker is an independent contractor. Although an employer may call a worker an independent contractor if he or she chooses, how the employer classifies the worker is only one factor a court or government agency will consider. The primary factor considered when determining whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor is the level of control the employer is able to exercise over you.

A court or agency looking at whether you are properly classified would look at:

  • Whether you perform work that is integral to the employer’s business or whether you perform work that comprises a distinct trade;
  • Whether you are responsible for providing your own tools in order to complete the job or whether the employer provides you with the tools necessary;
  • Whether you are able to subcontract with others or hire others in order to complete the work you are hired to do;
  • Whether you must submit invoices in order to be paid or whether you are paid automatically on a regular basis;
  • Whether you work for one employer at a time or whether you have several employers for whom you work.

If you find that you are misclassified, a court or other agency may be called upon to determine whether the classification is appropriate. The factfinder will examine the nature of your employment relationship with the employer before making a determination. It is important that all of the relevant facts about your employment relationship are presented to the factfinder for consideration.

An employer who deliberately misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor may face civil lawsuits for any damages the misclassified employee has sustained and any benefits he or she didn’t receive because of the misclassification. In addition, government agencies may assess penalties and fines against the employer.

Benefits Available to Employees

Misclassification can be especially harmful to the misclassified employee because there are protections and benefits available to employees that are not required to be provided to independent contractors. In addition, independent contractors have additional obligations that employees do not.

In general, independent contractors:

  • Are not protected by minimum wage laws;
  • Do not get paid overtime pay;
  • Are not required to be given meal breaks and rest breaks throughout the day;
  • Are generally not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits from the employer (they must instead maintain their own worker’s compensation policies);
  • Must pay self-employment taxes;
  • Must provide their own tools in order to complete jobs and projects.

Stand Up to Your Employer with Gay Carroll-Haring on Your Side

My California employment misclassification law firm represents workers who have been improperly classified as independent contractors. If you believe your employer has misclassified you, do not delay: you may find that you are missing out on important benefits and protections. I can investigate your situation and gather important evidence about whether you are in fact an employee and can help you secure the benefits you deserve as an employee.

Contact the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring at 916-443-3553 today to schedule your consultation.

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