California Tax Lawyer
From an employer’s perspective, hiring employees involves
both benefits and burdens. A fundamental benefit is that
you can control employees, making them do what you want
to further your business goals. But, you must pay their
wages, withhold taxes, give them employee benefits, be liable
for any acts of negligence during their employment, and face
the scrutiny of state and federal law when it comes to
nondiscrimination, discipline and termination.
Independent contractors, on the other hand, are classical-
ly one-time workers who do a job for a fixed price, and who
generally work for multiple companies. Axiomatically, with
independent contractors, you can’t control them with
detailed direction, and they bring no tort, contract or tax lia-
bilities to the employer’s doorstep. That may make the
dichotomy between employee and contractor seem obvious
and one that could cause no controversy.
Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there
are many subtle (and not so subtle) blendings of characteris-
tics that make the spectrum of workers far more
homogeneous than you might suspect. Moreover, it is often
not easy to say into which category a particular worker or
class of workers should go.
In part, this is due to the obvious incentives companies
enjoy with independent contractors rather than employees.
That has led to an epidemic of arguably bogus independent
contractors who do not necessarily function the way they are
supposed to. That, in turn, produces controversy about what
is and is not possible with independent contractors.
To some extent, this has undermined the circumstances in
which companies lawfully and legitimately use independent
contractors rather than employees. In any case, the contro-
II. TYPE OF CONTROVERSIES
One expects worker status controversies to occur with gov-
ernment taxing or regulatory agencies. The taxes,
administrative burdens, and federal and state employment
law liabilities for employees are much g