Am I an independent contractor or an employee and does it make a difference?
Whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” makes a big difference. Independent contractors are not entitled to many benefits that must be offered to employees, such as overtime pay, health and pension benefits, social security credits, protection against discrimination, and unemployment insurance. Some employers wrongly classify their workers as “independent contractors” to avoid providing those benefits. It is in your best interest to know whether you are properly classified as an employee or independent contractor.
Recently, there have been some noteworthy cases where employers mistakenly classified employees as independent contractors. The Allstate Insurance Company announced that it agreed to pay $19.5 million to 292 agents who claimed the good hands people wrongly changed their status from “employees” to “independent contractors”. This settlement came after Allstate settled the claims of another 1,000 agents for $22 million. In another case, Microsoft agreed to pay $96.9 million to employees who contended that they were not temporary, independent contractors but really permanent employees of Microsoft.
The courts will look to all the facts of a particular case and compare them to the appropriate factors. Thus, the employees should understand that an agreement that he or she is an independent contractor, though important, will not decide the case.
If you need professional help for your legal disputes on your employment status,, contact Zaman Law Firm today for free consultation. We’re here to help and would love to hear your story and let you know what legal remedies are available. And as always, there are no charges unless we win your case.
16633 Ventura Blvd., Suite 510
Encino, CA 91436