Employees Vs Independent Contractors: Avoiding A Contract Dispute

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, May 19, 2017.

In most California businesses and others throughout the nation, there are typically three types of workers. Those carrying out various tasks and duties within a workplace are usually volunteers, employees or independent contractors. The problem is that sometimes a worker gets incorrectly categorized, which may lead to a contract dispute later down the line.

To avoid a contract dispute, it's crucial that an employer makes sure the agreement clearly spells out the responsibilities and obligations of all parties therein. By preparing an effective agreement in the first place, an employer lowers the risk that later problems will arise, especially concerning whether a particular worker is a hired employee on the payroll or an independent contractor. If an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, an employer may be accused of intentionally doing so to avoid paying taxes, overtime or minimum wage. 

Various factors are usually taken into consideration to differentiate employees from independent contractors. For instance, to determine whether someone performing work is an employee or independent contractor, it's essential to know whether the person for whom the work is being done in some way controls what the worker is to do and/or how it is to be done. It's also important to note whether the work scheduled to be done requires a specially skilled person.

Any California employer facing problems related to job classification may ask an attorney to review the situation and offer appropriate guidance. Since independent contractors are not covered by workers' compensation insurance (and employees are) job status problems can get very complicated if the person doing the work is injured on the job and the employer is being called into question on the matter. An experienced business and commercial law attorney can help protect an employer's rights and avoid lengthy, contentious battles in court.

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