Contract Not Determinative of Independent Contractor Status

I signed an agreement with an employer which states that I am an independent contractor. Does this mean I am an independent contractor?

No. Just because you have a signed agreement stating that you are an independent contractor, does not mean you are an independent contractor. The Labor Commissioner’s Office and the court will examine the facts of your working situation and not an agreement to determine if you are an independent contractor or an employee. Although you did sign a contract, it is not binding when the Labor Commissioner examines your employment status. If you have questions about whether you are an independent contractor or an employee, you may contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. You may be entitled to the benefits provided for employees.

Example:

When Jane started employment at her new job, she signed an agreement with her employer that stated she was an independent contractor, and not an employee. Although Jane signed an agreement stating she is an independent contractor, it does not necessarily mean that she is an independent contractor and not an employee. Jane wants to take the matter to court to see if she is indeed an independent contractor or if she is an employee entitled to benefits. The California court will look beyond the agreement that Jane signed to be an independent contractor. The court will examine the whole situation including how Jane completes her work, how she is paid, whether she uses her own tools or not, and more to determine if Jane is an employee or an independent contractor. A signed agreement stating the Jane is an independent contractor does not determine if she is an independent contractor or employee.

If you have a question about California employee or independent contractor law or want to file a wage claim in California, contact us now.