An Experienced
Employment Law Trial Attorney

What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Employment Law

Recent legislation in California has broadened classifications for full-time employees. Employers may be continuing practices that are no longer compliant with the state’s employment law.

Incorrectly categorizing workers as independent contractors when they are actually full time-employees is a surprisingly common employment practice across a variety of industries. Classification errors do not necessarily mean that an employer intends to wrongfully deprive workers of rights or benefits. Employers may be unaware of the relevant law, or they may incorrectly interpret its application to their employer-employee relationships.

Job duties and a company’s activities

If a worker performs tasks that are not within the scope of a business’ regular activities, he or she may be an independent contractor rather than an employee. Having an established business entity or performing the same services for more than one company may indicate that someone works as a contractor. In contrast, a person whose job role involves a business’ principal activities are employees. For example, performing administrative tasks in an office or interacting with a business’ clients on its behalf probably signifies that someone is working for a business as an employee.

Managerial control over workers

If a company does not direct how someone performs tasks in the workplace, then there may not be an employer-employee relationship. People with advanced skills who do not receive instruction from employers about how to complete work are typically independent contractors.

People who have concerns that their employment classification is erroneous may need to take corrective measures. The right classification can affect wages as well as eligibility for paid time off and benefits programs.