Are You An Employee Or An Independent Contractor?

If you are an employee in California, you are guaranteed certain rights regarding benefits, breaks, overtime and other terms in your employment. If you are classified as an independent contractor, however, you often do not have these guarantees.

Many employers attempt to misclassify employees as an independent contractor so they can get around the law and cut costs by withholding these benefits. If you believe you are being cheated of the benefits you deserve, the attorneys at Caskey & Holzman can stand up for your rights and secure the compensation to which you are entitled.

How do you know if you're an employee or an independent contractor? It may be stated in your employment contract, but these classifications are defined by the law. Below are some of the things to look out for.

Are your services distinct from those of the employer?

An independent contractor, by definition, performs a specific task in exchange for a specific payment while retaining a certain amount of control over how they perform that task. If you are performing work that is vital to the continued operations of your employer and they are monitoring that work as if you were one of their full-time employees, then you may be legally classified as an employee. But there are many other factors to consider as well.

Does the employer provide you tools, equipment and a place to work?

If you are using company equipment, instruments and tools to complete your job, and you are told you must complete the work on company property, then you are likely a company employee. Independent contractors often provide much of their own equipment and are able to perform their work under much of their own terms, including on their premises.

How long are you performing this work?

Independent contractors are meant to perform work for a limited amount of time — whether they are simply completing a finite number of projects or they are working for a temporary amount of time. If you are being paid to complete work indefinitely, you may be seen as an employee and eligible for the full scope of benefits that other employees receive.

Is your employer micro-managing your work?

Independent contractors have a certain level of autonomy that many employees do not have. They are typically able to set their own parameters as to how they complete their job, as long as they complete it. If your employer is monitoring your work and dictating exactly how to get the job done, you may have the right to be a full-time employee.

Do you believe you are entering into an employer-employee relationship?

While not as important as many of the other factors, if you truly believe you are entering into a working relationship as an employee, or if the business hires you with the intent that you will be working as an employee would, then you may be classified as an employee under the law. This is difficult to prove, however.

Have An Experienced Lawyer On Your Side

What classifies an employee vs. an independent contractor is not exact under California law. Judges will consider the entire scenario when determining which you should legally be classified as. When you consult with Caskey & Holzman, we work closely with you to gather all the evidence you need to prove you are, indeed, an employee and deserving of the benefits you are not receiving.

Located in Calabasas, we fiercely represent workers throughout Los Angeles and across the state. We offer free case evaluations to determine if it's best to continue with your case, so there is no risk to get started. Call our office at 323-391-3984 or toll free at 800-403-7096, or reach us online to get started.