When you make your living working for someone else in California, it is important that your employer classify you properly. Whether your employer classifies you as an employee or an independent contractor impacts everything from your work hours to whether you receive benefits. Sometimes, employers intentionally misclassify employees because it may prove advantageous for them to do so.
When your employer designates you an independent contractor, rather than an actual employee, your employee typically benefits while you face a disadvantage.
Why do employers misclassify employees?
When your employer classifies you as an independent contractor instead of an employee, he or she does not have to offer you overtime pay or workers’ compensation. You are also not privy to unemployment insurance or family and medical leave. In other words, misclassifying you leads to significant financial gains for your employer.
What determines your work classification
In California, the “ABC Test” helps determine what type of worker you are. To be an independent contractor in the eyes of the law, you must perform work that is outside of your employer’s typical skillset or course of business. Furthermore, you must have established skills in a trade or business that is similar to that in which you are performing work Also, to be an independent contractor, your employer must not be able to tell you when and how to perform work on his or her behalf.
If your situation satisfies the above criteria, you are an independent contractor, rather than a formal employee. Otherwise, you are an employee, and your employer needs to treat you as such.