Committed To Protecting Your Rights

Employee or independent contractor? Know the difference and protect your rights

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Employment Law

Understanding the difference between an independent contractor and an employee is crucial, especially for determining workers’ compensation eligibility in California.

Legal distinctions

In California, the classification of workers follows the ABC test. According to this test, a worker is an employee unless they:

  • A: Are free from the control and direction of the hiring entity while working,
  • B: Perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business,
  • C: Are engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

Employees usually get benefits like health insurance, unemployment pay, and legal protections. Unlike employees, independent contractors don’t get these benefits.

Workers’ compensation eligibility

Workers’ compensation is insurance that covers employees who get injured at work. In California, workers can get benefits for work injuries or illnesses through workers’ compensation laws. Independent contractors, though, don’t qualify because they’re seen as self-employed.

Implications of misclassification

Misclassification occurs when an employer incorrectly classifies an employee as an independent contractor. This can deny workers their rightful benefits and protections, including workers’ compensation. If you suspect misclassification, it’s important to seek legal advice or contact the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Take control of your rights

Understanding your work status and rights is essential. If you’re unsure about your classification or believe you might be misclassified, don’t hesitate to reach out to a legal professional. Protect your rights and ensure you receive the benefits and protections you deserve.