Are your Independent Contractors really Contractors?

Independent contractors are workers who contract their services to a business. It is often difficult to classify or define whether or not an individual is actually an employee or an independent contractor. Failing to classify a worker correctly could have severe and long-lasting negative implications on an employer, especially if more than one worker is involved. Knowing whether or not your independent contractors are really contractors could help your business avoid serious legal difficulties in the future.

For all of your questions about employment laws in California, please connect with the San Diego employment lawyers at TencerSherman LLP.

What is a Traditional Employee?

Employees are workers who do what you tell them to do when you tell them to do it. Employees typically are required by law to complete a W-4 tax form when they are hired. These forms allow employers to generate a W-2 tax form at the end of the fiscal year for tax filing purposes. Employees are generally told exactly how to complete given tasks throughout the day rather than allowed to find ways to complete tasks on their own. Employees are usually more structured workers operating under strict policies and adhering to firm guidelines.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a worker that exercises more control over their work and workspace. In most circumstances, an independent contractor sets their own hours for work. During most work-related situations the independent contractor provides their own equipment or supplies. Rather than receive a paycheck monthly or biweekly, an independent contractor invoices the company they work for periodically. They do this in order to receive compensation for the work that they completed in a set amount of time. Independent contractors generally have fewer employment-related protections than a traditional employee can expect to receive.

Are Your Independent Contractors Truly Contractors?

Knowing whether or not your independent contractors are really contractors rather than employees can be complicated depending on the type of business you operate. The first step you can take in defining the type of employment your contractors are working under is to review the terms of their contract versus the work that they are being asked to complete. Ask yourself if they are being given a set schedule with specific hours, what type of pay rate they are being offered, and if they are entitled to employee-related benefits.

When to Seek Guidance

Owning and operating any type of business is time-consuming and stressful under the best of circumstances. When you find yourself asking questions about whether you are legally classifying your workers correctly things can become even more complicated. If you or someone close to you owns a business with independent contractors and is unsure that their workers are truly contractors then it is time to reach out to an attorney.

A qualified attorney can provide you with the answers to any questions that you have and further expand upon the concepts that you are familiar with. Do not hesitate to contact the San Diego employment attorneys at TencerSherman LLP today to secure the answers and assistance that you deserve.