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Misclassified as an independent contractor and also withheld final pay! California

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  • Misclassified as an independent contractor and also withheld final pay! California

    Okay, so here's the case. I was working at a startup company in California as a summer intern recently. However, because I had a lot on my plate, the company fired me because I couldn't commit to a full time schedule. One week later, the company told me that not only did it not send out my final paycheck yet, but they also were going to deduct a full day of pay because they realized I made some mistakes on some of my work. After some research, I found that this was illegal and the company couldn't deduct my pay because of unintentional mistakes.
    After contacting them again, they said that I signed an agreement in which I agreed to be an independent contractor. However, I did not understand what it meant at the time when I signed the agreement. I did some more research, and realized that my role was nowhere near an independent contractor. I had to come in to the office from 10am - 6pm everyday. My supervisor sat right next to me and told me exactly what to do. I had no autonomy whatsoever. After all, I was an intern! In fact, the company even deducted the first 10 hours of my pay for training purposes. I fully believe I was an employee by all standards I found.
    I notified them of the misclassification and demanded a full paycheck. I also told them that I was entitled to a waiting time penalty because they had withheld my entire paycheck for more than one week. However, I never heard back from them, which means I might not even get a penny from my final pay.
    I am very distressed right now because as a college student, I am not familiar with these legal procedures. I am about to file an SS-8 form to the IRS to determine my working status and also a wage complaint to the DLSE. However, this seems like a complicated situation because I need to first determine that I am an employee, then ask for a waiting time penalty. Moreover, this is only a startup with 5 employees, including the manager so the work environment is very casual. I am not sure whether or not a employment laws will even apply to such a workplace. I was also wondering how long the entire process might take and also how time consuming and costly it might be. I don't really have a lot of time or money to spare on such issues...Please help me out...

  • #2
    Duplicate post. Please keep all answers in original thread.

    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthre...=1#post1249098
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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