Employer Retaliation or Discrimination

I told my employer that I thought I was an employee and not an independent contractor, and that I should be paid overtime. My employer retaliated against me by firing me. What can I do?

You can file a discrimination/retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Anytime you as an employee are discriminated against or retaliated against by your employer, you may file a discrimination/retaliation claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You may have been let go because you questioned your employer about your employment status as an independent contractor vs an employee. You may have been let go because you threatened to file a wage claim in California against your employer with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Those are considered situations of employer retaliation or discrimination and you may file a claim with the Labor Commissioner, or you may file suit in court against your employer. If you would like to file action, you may consult with an employment lawyer who specializes in employment law. If you do file a claim and it is determined that you are an independent contractor and not an employee, the Division of Standards Enforcement cannot assist you. You would have to take the matter to court because the Division of Standards Enforcement does not have the ability to help independent contractors, only employees.

Example:

Joe believes he is an employee and not an independent contractor although his employer disagrees. Joe believes he is entitled to overtime wages so he threatens to file an overtime wage claim in CA against his employer. Joe’s employer retaliates against Joe by firing him. This is an example of employer retaliation and Joe may file a retaliation/discrimination complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. If Joe files a retaliation/discrimination complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office and he is determined to be in fact an independent contractor and not an employee, he will not be assisted by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Joe may also file an action in California court against his employer.

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