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Classification of Independent Contractors

Legal Help for Employee Misclassification Issues

Capable employment lawyers serving clients in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

If you are an employer in California, it is important that you understand how workers are classified in the state. If you misclassify an employee as an independent contractor, you could be in trouble with the IRS. In addition, the misclassified worker may file a claim against you for overtime, rest-period violations and other business expenses. It is important for you to realize that job titles and contracts do not establish the position and classification of a worker. Duties and responsibilities determine whether the employee is an independent contractor or employee. The lawyers at Garcia & Gurney A Law Corporation in Pleasanton have a comprehensive understanding of employment law and are prepared to provide you with trustworthy guidance on any issue that can disrupt your business.

Determining if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee

In Pleasanton and throughout California, many factors are considered when determining if a worker is a company employee or an outside contractor. Employment attorneys explain that properly classifying a worker’s job role is essential to both the employer and the worker. According to the IRS, facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into the following three categories:

  • Behavioral: As an employer, do you control or have the right to control the duties of the worker or determine how he or she performs his or her job?
  • Financial: As the payer, do you have control over how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools of the trade and other business aspects of the worker’s job?
  • Type of relationship: Do you have a written contract with the worker, and does the worker have employee-type benefits such as a pension plan, insurance and vacation pay? Is the work performed a key aspect of your business, and will the business relationship continue?

Consequences of misclassifying employees

At Garcia & Gurney A Law Corporation, our Pleasanton employment lawyers understand that independent contractors can be essential to any business. Hiring independent contractors can help employers avoid expenses associated with payroll, overtime pay, workers compensation insurance and disability. However, in addition to the IRS, several California state agencies may come after you if it is established that you misclassified an employee as an independent contractor. You could face action from the misclassified employee, and state-run agencies may also seek reimbursement for unpaid payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance.

Seek experienced employment law guidance in California

Garcia & Gurney A Law Corporation is proud to provide clients with comprehensive employment law support. For help with a labor and employment issue or other business law matter in and around Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, contact us today by phone at 925-468-0400 or online.

Client Testimonials
  • "Melinda Garcia came very highly recommended by two colleagues who raved about her expertise and assertiveness. She and her team are extremely responsive and help us navigate the legal challenges of our consulting business. We're thrilled to have Melinda on our side!"

  • "Melinda Garcia was wonderful to work with. She is an outstanding listener and has a great memory for details and personal information.... which makes one feel very comfortable and welcome. I would highly recommend her to anyone not only because of her outstanding abilities but because of the compassion she eludes in dealing with an individual's issues/concerns."

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  • "Melinda Garcia provided me excellent advice in resolving an employment agreement related to an acquisition of the company I worked for. She is very knowledgeable, asked me what I wanted to achieve with her services, provided excellent service to achieve those goals, and was very cognizant of fees. I recommend her for employment related services."

  • "Melinda Garcia provided excellent guidance with an employment/compensation case. Her knowledge of employment law, and strong negotiation skills, brought the case to a successful conclusion."

  • "Melinda Garcia has done an excellent job assisting us as we established our small business. From incorporation to contract negotiations, Melinda Garcia and her staff were outstanding"

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