What are the Most Common Signs I Have Been Misclassified as an Independent Contractor in California?

At Romero Law, our trusted employment law attorneys in California know that misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they should be classified as employees is a common issue with significant legal and financial implications.

In California, the misclassification of workers is taken seriously, and the state has specific criteria to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

A new city ordinance in Los Angeles, effective July 1, 2023, requires a written contract for many independent contractors and freelance workers who work in the city. This ordinance is known as the Freelance Worker Protection Ordinance and may be the start of new legislation impacting independent contractor relationships throughout the state.

Misclassified as an Independent Contractor

Are You Being Misclassified as an Independent Contractor in California?

Here are some common signs that you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor in California:

  • Control Over Your Work

You may be misclassified if the employer exercises a high degree of control over when, where, and how you perform your work. Independent contractors typically have more autonomy in determining their work schedules and methods.

  • Training and Equipment

If the employer provides training, tools, equipment, or materials necessary for the job, it may indicate an employment relationship. Independent contractors typically use their tools and equipment and are responsible for their training.

  • Integration into the Business

If your work is integral to the employer’s business, and you perform tasks similar to those performed by employees, you may be misclassified. Independent contractors often provide specialized services not central to the core business.

  • Duration of Relationship

If the working relationship is expected to be long-term and ongoing rather than for a specific project or period, it may suggest an employment relationship.

  • Exclusivity

It may indicate an employment relationship if you are restricted from working for other businesses or clients. Independent contractors typically have the freedom to work with multiple clients.

  • Financial Control

If the employer controls the financial aspects of your work, like setting rates, providing reimbursement for expenses, or dictating payment terms, it may suggest an employment relationship.

  • Employee Benefits

If you receive employee benefits like health insurance, retirement benefits, or paid time off, it may be an indication that you are misclassified.

  • Right to Terminate

If the employer has the right to terminate the relationship without cause, it may suggest an employment relationship. Independent contractors are generally engaged for specific projects and can only be terminated for contractual reasons.

  • Tax Withholding and Reporting

If the employer withholds taxes from your pay and provides you with a W-2 form, it indicates an employee relationship. Independent contractors typically receive a Form 1099 and are responsible for their tax obligations.

Contact Our Employment Law Attorney at Romero Law

If you suspect you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, contact our experienced Los Angeles County employment law attorneys to discuss your unique circumstances today.

Our employment law firm and bilingual staff offer services in both English and Spanish and are available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling (626)-396-9900 or contacting us online.

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