Can a company make an independent contractor do Mandatory non paid Training on a weekly basis?

Asked over 1 year ago - Glendale, CA

I work for a company that hired me 4 years ago to entertain at Birthday Parties. Since hiring me it has been mandatory that I attend a training session every week for 2 hours to brush up on my skills, for which I am not paid. First and foremost I believe I should not be classified as an IC - I am paid fortnightly, I don't sign a contract on a per event basis ie it's been an ongoing contract for 4 years with no end until I quit, they mostly provide me with the tools ie costume etc to do the job, I am required to organise payment from the client at the event on behalf of the company, and we are evaluated on our work to comply with company standards. Of course if I was an employee I would be paid for weekly training. But I'm wondering what my rights are as an Independent Contractor?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. David Andrew Mallen

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You ask a good question. I have been on speaking panels with other lawyers on the independent contractor vs. employee issue for years, and I can honestly say I still do not have all the answers for whether you are classified correctly.

    We lawyers go through the 20-factor test, focusing on "control". If you imagine control as a "sliding scale," the more control the company has over your work hours and your work conditions, the more likely you are an employee.

    I or another experienced lawyer would need to have a more in-depth (free consultation) with you to understand your classification better.

    Assuming you are correctly classified as an independent contractor -- and that is a legal conclusion that I am not willing to make here based on the limited info you provided -- then you are left to your own devices to negotiate extra payment for training hours. It is a matter of contract.

    Hope this helps.

    David Mallen

    David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not... more

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