California has some of the strongest labor laws in the country. Recently, it took on tech and retail giants in the Golden State when it created AB5. The gig law took effect at the start of 2020 and has reaffirmed California’s stance on ensuring workers like you receive the correct classification and the associated benefits.
Unfortunately, many companies still try to circumvent the law and find shady ways to class you as an independent contractor. Along with robbing you of benefits, such as health insurance, should you become injured on the job, you may have no access to workers’ compensation benefits.
How do you confirm your classification?
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, employers do not have the final say in your classification. Instead, you need to confirm your classification by reviewing the specifics of your work arrangements and work conditions.
If any of these statements are true, you may qualify as an employee under California law:
- Your employer controls your work and its finer details.
- Your employer makes deductions for Social Security and unemployment.
- Your employer supplies the tools or materials you use for the job.
- Your employer determines what days you work or at what time.
- You receive a salary or a per-hour wage instead of per-project pay.
What are you entitled to if you are an employee?
If you determine and prove that you are an employee, you may become eligible for workers’ comp after suffering an injury on the job. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for medical care, death, wage replacement and disability.
If you believe your employer wrongly classifies you as an independent contractor, you may make your case to your employer. Employers do not always accept this, especially when the possibility of backpay looms. You may need to file a complaint to rectify the situation.