An independent contractor is another kind of classification and not necessarily an employee classification.
Many employers try to classify people incorrectly as independent contractors because they don’t have to pay the employer’s share of various employment taxes, keep track of hours, breaks nor do they have to provide other common employee benefits such as health insurance, and equity based compensation.
How do I know if I’m an employee or an independent contractor?
It’s a very factually-driven question to answer, and each circumstance is a little bit different than the next. Generally speaking, if you were doing the same type of work as someone sitting next to you is doing, and they are an employee, and you are an independent contractor, you are probably misclassified as an independent contractor.
Other factors that go into the determination whether you’re misclassified as an independent contractor
Generally speaking, the more control that the employer exerts over the independent contractor, the more it is going to look like there is actually in an employment relationship rather than an independent contractor relationship. The more that the employer supplies the tools and equipment, specifies what time the person goes to and from work, the more it looks like the person is an employee and not an independent contractor.
If you’re classified as an independent contractor by the company you work for and you think you may be misclassified, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney to find out. If you should be classified as a “non-exempt” employee, you may be entitled to overtime pay and other benefits that accrue to employees under California law.
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