What is the Difference Between an Employee and Independent Contractor in California?
In fact, some industries thrive on adding these important workers to the fray to increase productivity and creativity, or add another hand to a project without the long-term requirements that come with hiring new employees and assuming the burdens of California and federal employment laws contract.
However, when a California company hires an independent contractor, it must satisfy the legal requirements that allow them to classify him or as such. If they cannot meet the legal threshold for proper employee classification, the employer could be breaking the law.
Here is what you need to know about being identified as an independent contractor in California.
Independent Contractors are Defined by Law in California
Before California Assembly Bill 5 became law in 2019, the line between independent contractor and employee was becoming increasingly blurred by employers throughout the state.
Now, the law makes it illegal to misclassify an employee to avoid paying wages or benefits.
Moreover, the factors that are required to distinguish between the two are much clearer, thanks to the ABC test.
The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency developed the ABC Test stating an individual is presumed to be an employee, unless the hiring company can prove that the worker:
- Is free from the company’s direction or control while performing their duties
- Is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed
- Performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business
If the employer cannot satisfy all three elements, the individual must be classified as an employee.
Are You a California Employee or an Independent Contractor?
The laws determining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor in California are clear.
However, an uncomplicated way to determine your status can begin with a quick evaluation of your employment.
For instance, employees:
- Work full-time for the company
- Are closely supervised by the company
- Are paid by the hour
- Receive employee benefits
- Receive training, tools, and equipment needed to work from the company
- Provide services that are an integral part of the company’s business
Conversely, independent contractors:
- Operate businesses independent from the company they are working for
- Work for more than one company at a time
- Are paid by the project
- Set their own working hours
- Pay their own business and travel expenses
- Provide the tools and equipment needed to complete the project
- Hire and pay any additional help necessary to complete the project
- Earn a profit or suffer a loss based on the work provided at the close of the project
If you believe you are being misclassified as an independent contractor when you are an employee, the skilled Los Angeles misclassification attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC can help you satisfy the elements that prove that is true, starting with a free consultation.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Employee Misclassification Lawyer in Los Angeles
Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder, and employee misclassification attorney in Los Angeles County, can help you pursue your employer for their unlawful behavior, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online today.