The Law at Work: Distinguishing between employees and independent contractors
How does a court determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor? In his The Law at Work column in the San Diego Union Tribune, Shareholder Dan Eaton answers this question by examining a recent ruling by the San Francisco division of the court of appeal regarding a taxi driver’s claim that the company for which he worked misclassified him as an independent contractor. Key takeaways from the ruling include:
- A worker is an employee unless the company can prove he is an independent contractor.
- The more control a company exercises over a worker, the more likely the worker is an employee.
- The company’s right to end the relationship at-will is strong evidence of the company’s ultimate control over the worker.
- Requiring a worker to comply with government regulations doesn’t make an independent contractor an employee.
- A written contract expressly establishing an independent contractor relationship will be given little weight.
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