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I'm an independent contractor who has done nothing wrong, Does my employer have the right to fire me?

North Hollywood, CA |

I work for a dog company. she gave me the impression that I was hired as her employee. Their was no paperwork that was given to me and I didn't sign anything. From the beginning she's treated me as her employee. I was trained, given a schedule, she picked the clients, and told me what needed to be done, how and when. She made it clear that only she can find clients. If we want to take days off, we have to submit a request. She can deny or accept it. Which she has actually denied my time off for Christmas. Came end of the year and I received a 1099. I was surprised because I didn't feel like I was an IC. Recently an old client of hers contacted me asking if I could watch her dog because she couldn't afford my bosses prices. I said yes and My boss fired me for, what she considered, poaching.

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Best Answer

It sounds like you were likely misclassified as a contractor instead of as an employee.. Your question does not mention how you were paid, but you may well have wage claims. Misclassification has an impact on your taxes, social security contributions, and eligibility for workers compensation and unemployment benefits. I suggest that you consult with an employee side lawyer to help figure out your options and possible courses of action. You can find one in your area at

Disclaimer: Please understand that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever.


Whether you are a contractor or employee your employer can fire you. However, if you were misclassified as a contractor when you should have been classified as an employee, you would be entitled to unpaid overtime (if any was worked and not paid) and a variety of statutory penalties. Speak to a local attorney to determine how you should proceed moving forward.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.


Sounds like you are an employee to me. Like the saying goes, "if it walks like a duck..."

Talk to an attorney because you should have been entitled to meal and rest periods and overtime pay.

Lawyers will give you a free consultation and the law allows you to go back as far as 4 years.

Best of luck.


You are almost certainly an "employee", and not a contractor. I have published a legal guide on that subject, and I've added a link to it below. Because you were "mis-classified", your employer probably violated wage and hour laws. Also, your employer failed to withhold (and pay itself) applicable taxes, and the IRS would like to hear about that. I have published another legal guide with contact information for those and other agencies for these and other kinds of claims, and I've added a link to that, too.

This response creates no attorney client relationship; consult a local lawyer for help if you proceed.



Mr Maloney, just to give you an update. I never got a lawyer to pursue legal action (I should have) and now that ex boss is being investigated for fraud. She is to attend a hearing to try and prove her workers were not employees. Do you know if they will contact her past employees to testify or be reimbursed for her fraudulent ways? It's been so long and I completely understand if you cannot comment. Thank you for your time

Joseph E Maloney

Joseph E Maloney


Well, better late than never; it may or may not be too late for you to pursue your claims regarding misclassification. Contact an attorney in your area who does "wage and hour" cases. Let them tell you it is too late. Good luck.




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