Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common issue in California and can mean significant legal claims for such employees.
An employee is considered an individual who is under the direction and control of an employer, and is entitled to certain rights and benefits such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and unemployment insurance.
An independent contractor, on the other hand, is considered self-employed and is not entitled to the same rights and benefits as an employee.
However, employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to avoid providing these rights and benefits, and to avoid paying payroll taxes and workers’ compensation insurance. This can be especially detrimental to low-wage workers who may not be aware of their rights, or may be hesitant to speak out against their employer.
If you believe you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you may have claims for unpaid wages, overtime pay, penalties, interest, and other benefits that you were denied as a result of the misclassification. Often employers must pay attorney fees incurred by employees in pursuit of these claims as well, which allows firms like ours to take most cases on contingency so they don’t have to pay attorney fees upfront, and we only get paid out of any recovery obtained on their behalf.
It is important for employees to understand their rights and to consult with an experienced attorney to determine if they have been misclassified as an independent contractor. At LaGuardia Law, we have experience in representing employee plaintiffs in misclassification cases against their employers and can help ensure your rights are protected and work hard to help you receive the benefits and compensation you are entitled to.