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As a member of the American workforce, you’ve likely heard the terms “employee” and “independent contractor” thrown around, and you may wonder exactly what separates the two. In many ways, both parties perform similar functions within a given company, but their classifications are entirely different and can impact their term of employment significantly. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Los Angeles County employment lawyer from RD Law Group to learn more about the difference between employees and independent contractors and how that distinction may impact you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What makes employees different from independent contractors?

Rather obviously, both employees and independent contractors work for a profit within a company. However, their similarities more or less end there. To start, employees typically have a weekly schedule they are required to follow, while independent contractors (more often than not) can set their own hours.

Additionally, employees are hired under the expectation that they will work for a company on a regular basis (that is, at least until they quit or their position is terminated), whereas independent contractors typically work on a project-to-project or contract-to-contract basis.

Perhaps the most important distinction between employees and independent contractors, however, is that employees often qualify for a wide range of benefits, whereas independent contractors frequently do not.

For example, employees are protected from discrimination under federal law, they also often have access to FMLA rights, and, in many cases, are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Often, independent contractors, on the other hand, are not afforded these protections.

What should I do if I think my employer misclassified me?

Unfortunately, it isn’t rare for employers to misclassify employees. Sometimes, this is an honest mistake, but in other cases, employers will knowingly classify someone who technically meets the standard of “employee” as an independent contractor so they don’t have to pay the employee benefits or recognize certain protections under the law.

If you believe you were misclassified by your employer, you should first consider speaking with them and seeing if they will remedy the issue on their own. However, if your employer fails to do so, you should reach out to a competent employment lawyer who can determine whether you have, in fact, been misclassified, and, from there, fight for your rights.

RD Law Group has helped countless individuals just like you over the years, and we stand ready to fight for you as well. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.