Skip to main content

Can I sue if i am wrongfully classified as an independent contractor in California?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am classified as an independent contractor by my boss, but he requires me to work certain hours and pays me hourly. I work from his office and he supplies all tools to do so. I meet with him daily and he supervises me closely.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Yes, I have handled such cases previously and you may be entitled to unpaid overtime wages, missed rest periods, and missed meal breaks. You are also entitled to penalties. Consult with an employment attorney who offers free consultations and can properly advise you.

  2. Yes. This is a fairly common type of lawsuit handled by employment attorneys. Use the AVVO "find a lawyer" option for a plaintiff side employment attorney and get a free consultation.

  3. Yes. If you are an employee and not a independent contractor (and by the facts you described you are probably an employee) you can sue for not providing proper meal and rest breaks as well as overtime pay. You can go back as long as 4 years in certain circumstances for not being paid properly.

    I think you should talk to an employment law lawyer who can help you come up with the right game plan. Typically lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee.

    Dan Holzman

  4. You can sue but it is not clear if you suffered harm as a result of the misclassification such as not being paid overtime or not being provided rest or meal periods.

    This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Law Offices of John Valentine, Jr., pursuant to an executed engagement agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice.

  5. I agree with many of the previous answers. I would add that there is a specific provision of the Labor Code--section 226.8--which provides additional penalties for employers who willfully misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. You could potentially sue for those penalties in addition to any unpaid overtime, missed breaks, and other penalties. You could also potentially sue your employer for any taxes that he was supposed to pay as your employer.

    Consult an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your specific situation. Good luck!

  6. If you are misclassified, you can sue. In evaluating whether a relationship is one of employer-employee or that of an independent contractor, the label placed by your employer is not dispositive. Rather, the proper analysis focuses on the employer’s “control of details” — that is, whether the principal has the right to control the manner and means by which the worker accomplishes the work. Here are some of the factors to consider (1) whether the worker is engaged in a distinct occupation or business, (2) whether, considering the kind of occupation and locality, the work is usually done under the principal’s direction or by a specialist without supervision, (3) the skill required, (4) whether the principal or worker supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and place of work, (5) the length of time for which the services are to be performed, (6) the method of payment, whether by time or by job, (7) whether the work is part of the principal’s regular business, and (8) whether the parties believe they are creating an employer-employee relationship.

Business topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics