Can you remain an independent contractor in California?

by | Mar 21, 2019 | Employment Law

Many companies provide wonderful opportunities for their employees. With regular working hours, benefits and bonus potential, people often find employment offers hard to refuse.

However, many Californians earn a living by working as independent contractors. This typically allows more flexibility for workers. But if you currently provide services under such an arrangement, you could be forced to become an employee.

Requirements for remaining self-employed

Based on a recent ruling by the state’s Supreme Court, California might be making some drastic changes in employment. If you wish to remain an independent contractor, there are three requirements you must meet:

  • You perform duties outside the company’s usual course of business
  • You work in a trade that is typically independent
  • You are free from company direction regarding your work

If you do not meet these requirements, the company you work for would need to comply with the state’s employment laws. While your independence might be minimized, in order for the company to continue to benefit from your services, they would have to recognize your employee status and be accountable for:

  • Meeting the state’s minimum wage requirement
  • Compensating you for overtime hours
  • Withholding your payroll taxes
  • Providing unemployment benefits

Legislative changes could affect an estimated two million people if Assembly Bill 5 passes.

Would changes benefit you?

Proposed changes would serve to provide workplace protection for misclassified workers. If the bill becomes law, you might need to report to a boss to make ends meet. However, by so doing, you would gain employee rights and increased legal protection under California employment laws.