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

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?

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Attorney answers 1


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 intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.

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