Independent Contractor Law

Misclassifying workers as "independent contractors"

One of the most common ways employers take advantage of workers is misclassifing them as “independent contractors” or “1099 contractors” rather than employees. By misclassifying these workers as independent contractors, employers avoid paying certain expenses, including insurance, worker compensation benefits, taxes, and overtime pay.

Independent contractors vs. employees

An “independent contractor” or “1099 contractor” is a legal and tax-related term used in the U.S. to refer to a worker that contracts his or her services out to a business or businesses. A 1099 contractor is not an employee of the business or businesses with which he or she works, instead he or she is considered to be self-employed.

There is no single factor that differentiates an employee from an independent contractor, but the general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

State Independent contractor laws

State laws may differ from federal requirements concerning independent contractors. For example, California independent contractor law is generally more pro-worker than federal law, and employers face more substantial penalties for misclassifying California workers as independent contractors.

Are you misclassified as an independent contractor?

Think you are misclassifed as an independent contractor? Misclassified workers may be entitled to back wages and other benefits under the law. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.


Jason Gibbs

Founding partner of Gibbs Law Group LLP, Eric Gibbs has been selected for the peer-reviewed list of Best Lawyers every year since 2012.

Steven Tindall

An employment-law litigator with over 20 years’ experience, Steven Tindall is well-acquainted with navigating the ins-and-outs of employee misclassification lawsuits. His largest recovery in a single employment case is $29 million.

Linda Lam

Prior to joining us at Gibbs Law Group LLP, Linda Lam worked at a national employment law firm, where she represented workers in lawsuits to recover unpaid wages and benefits.

Steve Lopez

Steve has prosecuted a variety of complex employment cases involving misclassification of independent contractors. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Our Employment Law Practice

Gibbs Law Group LLP is consistently ranked on U.S. News’ list of “Best Law Firms.”

The attorneys in our employment law practice have all be selected as 2018 Northern California Super Lawyers or Risings Stars.

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Learn More about Employee Misclassification

Get the pay due to an "employee"

If you’re misclassified, you’re entitled to all the pay and benefits you should have been earning all along, if you’d been correctly classified as an “employee.” Contact us for a free case evaluation. No obligation.