Has Your Employer Classified You as an Independent Contractor to Avoid Paying You Wages and Benefits?
Unscrupulous employers often label employees as independent contractors to deny them benefits, wages and protections guaranteed by California law. Most all employees are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and workplace protections. To get around these laws, companies may engage in employment misclassification by labeling you as an independent contractor. This can cause you substantial losses of wages, benefits and rights. (It’s also a way employers cheat the government and avoid paying into state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.)
If your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, then you may:
- Have to pay all of the Social Security and Medicare taxes instead of just half.
- Lose eligibility for unemployment or worker’s compensation benefits.
- Not be entitled to the minimum wage, overtime compensation, meal and rest breaks, and family and medical leave.
- Not be able to get employer-sponsored health insurance.
Recently, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that makes it much more difficult for companies to label workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Under this decision, to determine whether you have been properly classified as an independent contractor, the “ABC” test is used. Under this test, you are properly considered an independent contractor only if your employer can prove: (A) you are free from the control and direction of the employer in connection with the performance of your work; (B) you perform work that is outside the usual course of the employer’s business; and (C) you are customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for your employer.
If you believe you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor under this new test and have been denied wages or rights, call us for help.