Q: One government agency considers me an employee, but another thinks I am an independent contractor. Which description applies in my CA workers’ compensation claim?
It depends. There is no concrete definition for the term "independent contractor," so your employment classification will depend on the following:
- Which agency you are dealing with.
- The agency’s regulations concerning independent contractors.
- Your ability to prove that you could be legally classified as an employee under their specific requirements.
Here are just a few state agencies that may have differing opinions on whether you are an independent contractor or employee:
- The Employment Development Department (EDD) oversees taxes related to employment.
- The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) collects state income taxes for residents and corporations in California.
- Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) processes workers’ compensation claims and handles disputes over workers’ insurance benefits.
- The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) determines whether wage, hour, and workers’ compensation insurance laws apply to you and your employer.
The problem is that each department has its own way of determining your employment role. Each state agency may be presented with the same facts involving the same parties, but reach a different decision based on its own regulations. For this reason, it is vital that you have an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney working on your behalf, gathering evidence to prove that you may be considered an employee and qualify to receive the maximum amount of employer benefits.
Our dedicated legal team has compiled a helpful resource for injured workers to get the most compensation for thier injuries. Click the link on this page to get a FREE copy of our informative book, The Northern California Workers’ Compensation Survival Manual, or call the Ledgerwood Law Group today at 888-761-7383 to discuss the specifics of your work injury case with an attorney.