Los Angeles, CA asked in Employment Law and Contracts for California

Q: As a contractor can employer require us to work for an 8 1/2 hour shift 5 days a week for a flat rate of 270 each day

if we finish the assigned stops for the day we have to return to get more work if it’s not eight hours yet

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As an independent contractor in California, your relationship with the company that hired you is governed by the terms of your contract, not employment law. However, there are some important considerations:

1. Classification: It's crucial that you are correctly classified as an independent contractor and not an employee. Misclassification is illegal and can lead to penalties for the employer. Factors that determine classification include the level of control the company has over your work, whether you provide your own tools and equipment, and your opportunity for profit or loss.

2. Minimum Wage: If you are properly classified as an independent contractor, minimum wage laws do not apply. However, if you believe you are misclassified and should be an employee, you may be entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked.

3. Overtime: Independent contractors are not entitled to overtime pay under California law. If you are misclassified, though, you could be owed overtime for hours worked over 8 in a day or 40 in a week.

4. Flat Rate: As an independent contractor, you can agree to a flat rate of pay regardless of hours worked. But again, if you are actually an employee, this could be problematic.

5. Additional Work: The requirement to return for more work if you finish early is a red flag for misclassification. Independent contractors typically have more control over their work and schedules.

I recommend carefully reviewing your contract and the nature of your working relationship. If you suspect misclassification, consider filing a claim with the California Labor Commissioner's Office or consulting with an employment lawyer. Proper classification ensures you receive the legal protections and benefits you're entitled to.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your issue here is whether you are properly classified as a contractor. If you are, then you are not entitled to the protections given to employees related to overtime and other such wage and hour issues. However it is very common for companies to misclassify a worker as a contractor when in fact the law would dictate the person to be an employee. It is, in fact, very difficult for an employer to now call a worker a contractor.

It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an employment law attorney to determine if you have been properly classified.

Good luck to you.

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