Are you Currently Misclassified as an Independent Contractor?
Are you currently misclassified as an independent contractor?
If you are being misclassified as an independent contractor, you are losing important benefits and legal protections entitled to you, such as:
- Meal/rest breaks, medical or maternity leave, unemployment insurance benefits, disability plans.
- You’re not provided with a guarantee of continuing employment on return from a medical leave. The right applies if your “employer” is covered by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California’s equivalent California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
- You might not be able to participate in profit sharing, obtain an itemized paycheck, or receive reimbursement of expenses associated with your employment.
- Many employers offer a 401(k) plan. However, employees misclassified as independent contractors may not be eligible for tax benefits of contribution and employer’s matching contribution.
- Many employers provide medical and dental benefits and the law requires the right to continuing coverage after employment ends under the COBRA Act. However, independent contractors are denied of these benefits.
- If you cause injury to a third-party during the performance of your work duties as an employee, your employer would be liable for your actions and would be required to indemnify you from liability. However, an independent contractor would be personally named in a lawsuit for personal liability.
- Independent contractors are not protected by law against retaliation for “whistleblowing,” discrimination and harassment.
Who classifies as an independent contractor?
In general, most people must be classified as employees when they are employed. In special cases, they are classified as independent contractors. Classification as an independent contractor is fundamentally governed by how much your employer has control or supervision over your work. If an employer supervises your work, provides tools and equipment, sets work hours and the location for work and prevents you from working with other clients, you must be classified as an employee instead of an independent contractor. Also, if your work duty does not require a degree, license, certification, or special training, you are most likely an employee and not an independent contractor.
It can often be a complicated and time-consuming process understanding the distinction between employees and independent contractors and also the consequences of a misclassification. Please be advised to consult with an attorney for more detailed information.
Law Offices of Alex Cha & Associates
707 Wilshire Blvd 46th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
*The purpose of this article is for sharing information only and is not meant establish any attorney-client relationship and is not to be construed as legal advice. If you have any specific questions, please contact us through the phone number or email address provided.