This is another post written in a Q & A format and is intended to help California delivery drivers to determine whether they are improperly classified as independent contractors. In one of our prior posts, we discussed how the legal distinction between independent contractors and employees can be an important one when it comes to determining workers’ rights. For example, under California labor laws, employees are entitled to various wage-and-hour benefits (i.e. overtime meal break premiums), anti-discrimination and retaliation protections. However, the California Labor Code does not provide the same protections to independent contractors.
Beaumont-Jacques v. Farmers Group: District Manager was Properly Classified as an Independent Contractor
In the past, I have written a few posts about the dangers associated with misclassifying workers’ as independent contractors instead of employees. Misclassification usually exposes an employer to various types of liabilities, including claims for unpaid overtime, wrongful termination, unemployment benefits, and other California and federal employment law violations. In a typical misclassification case, employees are likely to contend that they were misclassified as independent contractors, and as a result, denied various benefits and protections under the Labor Code and/or Fair Standards Labor Act.
During the past few decades, there has been a fair amount of litigation taking place in state courts regarding the issue of whether insurance agents are employees or independent contractors for purposes of wage-and-hour claims. A few weeks ago, in Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co, a California Appellate Court
In their latest efforts to crackdown on independent contractor misclassifications, California legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a new measure (SB 459) which imposes strict financial penalties on companies and individuals who “willfully” misclassify employees as independent contractors.
In a previous post, we looked at the list of factors that California courts and agencies use to determine whether a particular worker is an independent contractor or employee. To better understand how these factors interplay with each other, it is best to look at the actual cases decided by the courts in the past.