By:  Lizbeth V. West

As many California employers are learning the hard way these days, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees can have far reaching consequences when an employer is audited by different governmental agencies during either a random audit or an audit that is prompted in response to a claim

The risks involved in misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee have always been serious. A number of federal and state agencies regulate the proper classification of workers and have the authority to impose significant monetary and non-monetary sanctions against employers who get the classification wrong.


Continue Reading Upcoming Seminar: Independent Contractor v. Employee – “Saying It’s So, Doesn’t Make It So”

By:   Meagan D. Christiansen

Labor Code section 2810 states that "[a] person or entity may not enter into a contract or agreement for labor or services with a construction, farm labor, garment, janitorial, or security guard contractor, where the person or entity knows or should know that the contract or agreement does not include funds

The State of California Signed an MOU with the Federal Department of Labor Together They Will Locate and Punish Those Who Misclassify Independent Contractors

By: Lizbeth V. West, Esq.

In my November 4, 2011 post, I discussed a new California law (Labor Code § 226.8) that imposes serious monetary fines and other sanctions against those who willfully misclassify workers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” Those who violate the law can find themselves paying up to $15,000 per violation and up to $25,000 if there is a pattern and practice of misclassification. Also, if the violator is a licensed business, it runs the risk of having its license revoked. Finally, the law provides for publication of a notice to employees and the general public for a period of one year, stating that the violator committed a serious violation of the law.


Continue Reading Employers Beware – The Crackdown Continues

Plaintiff Varisco was certified by the California Division of the State Architect (“DSA”) as a Class-1 Inspector. On January 30, 2004, Gateway Science entered into a written agreement with Varisco which stated that Gateway Science would pay Varisco for providing DSA Inspection Services to the Los Angeles Unified School District. In November of 2004, Gateway Science sent Varisco a letter terminating the relationship because Varisco refused to sign a new contract with Gateway Science, and refused to provide Gateway Science with various documents that it requested. Varisco sued Gateway Science for damages under various theories, arguing that he had actually been an employee instead of an independent contractor.


Continue Reading “At Will” Clause in a Contract for Services Does Not Mean the Worker is an Employee: Varisco v. Gateway Science and Engineering, Inc.