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California - Entitlement & Recoverable Damages

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  • California - Entitlement & Recoverable Damages

    Scenario: Independent Contractor (IC) worked for a company over a period of years in a technology related field. Worked 90% out of home, on their own equipment, sent in invoices, received 1099's, signed an independent contractor agreement, was free to work for other clients (but probably never did), etc...

    Using the California Test for Employment leans towards that the IC was indeed an independent contractor:
    http://www.taxes.ca.gov/iCorE.bus.shtml

    Upon ending the relationship with said independent contractor (IC), IC decides to sue over the claim that the IC was misclassified and should have been considered a salaried employee and therefore lost out on benefits over that period of time.

    Question:
    - Assuming the IC is right... what would the IC's recoverable damages be in this case? Are benefits recoverable, and what benefits would he be entitled to?

  • #2
    No idea, although if I was on the other side of things, I would tell the employee to look first (and last) at the ERISA level benefits (employer provided health care, and retirement plans including 401(k)). Those would be the easiest benefits to claim a potential liability on.

    Past that, this is really, really complicated stuff. $1,000/hr very-skilled-lawyer-of-the-type-of-do-not-give-free-answers-on-Internet-boards stuff. For example, an extremely large software company based in Washington State lost a very famous court decisions in which contractors employed by a "temporary" services agency for many years at this company successfully won a claim for stock options not received. This decision is notable both for the very long and expensive court proceedings, plus because it is maybe the only case of it's type that anyone can think of. These sorts of decisions occur but not with any regularity.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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