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Employers frequently categorize employees as independent contractors to keep from paying workers compensation, minimum wage, payroll taxes and overtime as well as avoiding having to meet California's standards for working conditions (ie breaks and meal periods as well as providing location and means for breaks and meals). Employees receive many benefits from their employer so it is important that you know whether or not you are entitled to things like workers compensation, overtime and/or insurance. Call The Law Offices of Rhett T. Francisco for help if you think you have been misclassified and are entitled to employee benefits.
Unfortunately there may be times at which you may not know whether or not you are legally an employee or an independent contractor because there is no set definition of the term "independent contractor". To determine if someone is an employee or a contracted worker, one must take into consideration multiple laws as well as how business has been conducted. The simple fact that a worker is given a 1099 does not necessarily make them an independent contractor. This is why it's important to examine the work arrangement and compare it to laws and court interpretations of the law. In some cases a worker can be considered an independent contractor in some ways and an employee in others.
Because there are major differences in the rights given to independent contractors and employees it is important that the status be known in all circumstances from hiring to termination.
It's important to know that even if there is a prior agreement between the worker and the employer stating that an employee is either a worker or an independent contractor it does not mean that the person being employed can legally be classified as an independent contractor or an employee. California law dictates that certain requirements must be met in order for a person to be considered an independent contract or an employee.