Misclassified as an Independent Contractor

Employers will sometimes deny that their workers are even employees, instead treating them as independent contractors. Employers do this because they do not have to pay overtime or provide meal and rest breaks to independent contractors. Moreover, the employer saves on payroll taxes if they can pay someone working for them as an independent contractor instead of as an employee. It is unlawful for an employer to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor.

How Our Employment Attorneys Help You

KLF's employment attorneys work with you to determine whether you have been misclassified under California law. If your rights have been violated, your employer may owe you compensation. We negotiate on your behalf and file a lawsuit as necessary. If we find that your employer also has violated the rights of other so-called contractors or freelancers, we may be able to help them, too.

Contact us regardless of whether or not you are confident that your employer broke the law. And it does not matter if your employer broke the law on purpose or not — if your employer effectively treated you like an employee and not an independent contractor, then you deserve all the protections afforded under California law to employees. Based in Glendale, we represent employees in the Los Angeles area and throughout California. All consultations are free and confidential.

Who Should be Classified as an Independent Contractor?

The most important factor that goes into determining whether someone is actually an employee instead of an independent contractor is that of control. The more control an employer has over an individual’s work, the more likely it is that that person should be classified as an employee and not an independent contractor.

One way of thinking about the issue is to consider whether the employer is only interested in the end product of the work as opposed to the employer being interested in how the employee goes about their work. For example, if a homeowner hires a roofer to replace an old roof, the homeowner is interested in the end product – the new roof – and not what the roofer is doing hour by hour, minute by minute to complete the work. Here, the roofer can be said to be the independent contractor of the homeowner. If that same roofer has an assistant working for them, and the roofer is telling the assistant to go get the tiles from the truck, to start nailing them from the left side of the house, to start clearing away the bits from the old roof, then that assistant is likely an employee of the roofer because the roofer is controlling how the assistant goes about their work.

Two final points. First, just because an employer has the worker sign a piece of paper that says the worker is an independent contractor, not an employee, does not make it so. In practice, if an employer requires its workers to sign such a document, that in and of itself may be a clue that the employee has been misclassified as an independent contractor. Second, what counts isn’t just the amount of control that the employer exercises on a day to day basis, but the right to control that the employer retains. If the employer makes the worker sign a document stating all the different ways in which the employer can tell the worker what to do and how to do it, then it is more likely that the worker should be classified as an employee and not as an independent contractor.

Talk to an Attorney About Whether You Are an Independent Contractor or an Employee

Proper classification as an employee or independent contractor is a complex issue. We recommend that you to contact the Kizirian Law Firm if you believe that you may have been misclassified. This issue is particularly difficult for non-attorneys to resolve on their own. You may contact our firm by emailing armand@kizirianlaw.com or calling (818) 221-2800. All consultations are free and confidential.