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Is there any law in California that requires me to have Worker's Compensation for independent contractors?

San Francisco, CA |

Please assume that I have correctly classed these people as independent contractors rather than employees. Thanks very much!

Attorney Answers 3

  1. If you do roofing work, you have to have WC Insurance. If you hire ICs on any job and they do not have WC Insurance, you become the default employer. If you do not have WC Insurance, the liability falls upon the Homeowner, which is probably going to get you hammered in all your Web Reviews. Your business will drop, your Vendors will demand cash payment, your children will get bullied at school, and your mistress will probably change her number and avoid your calls. WC Insurance is safer all the way around.

    We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

  2. If you have to ask the question, you would be silly not to buy WC insurance. Think about it, even if you are right that they all are IC, how much would it cost to hire an attorney to fight just one WC claim filed against you.

    I have handled many cases against people that try to avoid taxes and WC insurance by calling people IC. Many falsely believe not withholding taxes make them IC. In Illinois, the issue is control, not taxes and I have found it very easy to prove control when the 'employment' relationship' extends beyond one particular project. Right now I am going after Cargill on behalf of truck driver that signed 38 page IC agreement and at pretrial the arbitrator agreed with us. Moral of the story, it it took the company 38 pages to spell out all the rules, they control the relationship.

    It you are going without WC insurance, you really should consult an experienced attorney to make sure you are making the right decision.

    Good luck

  3. YES: Labor Code 2750.5 . Where a person performs a service that requires a professional license or performs for such a person, he's PRESUMED to be an employee, not an independent contractor.

    IN ANY MATTER where the issue of employment is in question, LC 3357 presumes the worker is an Employee.

    Read YELLOW CAB: Yellow Cab Cooperative v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board (1991) 226 Cal.App.3d 1288 It's so incredibly tough to manuever around the presumption workers are employees, it's nearly impossible.

    It's a stupid gamble, having 'these people' about and not carrying Workers Compensation insurance.

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