What is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee?

In California, one of the key differences between an independent contractor and an employee is the employer’s amount of control over the worker. Employers set their employees’ work schedules and determine their work environment, along with how job duties are carried out.

On the other hand, independent contractors have more flexibility and autonomy with when, where and how they carry out tasks. They have the freedom to take on freelance work and handle multiple projects at the same time.

Employees have more protection under the law. They are typically eligible to receive minimum wage, overtime pay, medical leave, health benefits, rest breaks, meal periods and reimbursement for job-related expenses. Independent contractors often do not have these guaranteed rights.

California law has specific criteria for determining how a worker should be classified. While the above factors are some of the main differences between an independent contractor and an employee, the distinction is unclear. Sometimes employers intentionally misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits and minimum wage.

Misclassifying workers can have a huge impact on the amount they earn, the terms of employment and their rights. Misclassified workers lose out on the benefits they deserve. If you suspect you have been misclassified, contact Erlich Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your situation with an Oakland employment lawyer.

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My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

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