Many companies employ temporary workers today, who are provided by staffing agencies and consider these workers as independent contractors. Many employed in this capacity may be owed back wages and penalties if they were misclassified as a temporary worker and not provided legally compliant meal and rest breaks, paid overtime or reimbursed for necessary business expenses (such as uniforms, cell phones, supplies, and mileage). If the company has control over working hours, or wages, or working conditions, then that company is considered an employer and is responsible for complying with the Labor Code.

Even if the staffing agency labels someone as an independent contractor, they may still have rights as an employee under California law if their hours, or wages or working conditions are controlled by either the staffing company or the employer where they were sent to work. For example, if they are sent to work for a company and are told by their supervisor at the company that their work schedule is 8AM-6PM every day, this is evidence of the employer controlling their hours and they should be treated with the rights of an employee.

If the company sets the rate of pay or requires any overtime to be approved by the supervisor, this is evidence of the employer controlling wages. If the company tells someone where to show up to work, or to contact the company supervisor with work issues, or requires them to comply with the company’s policies, or oversees daily activities, these are all instances of the company controlling working conditions. Any one of these examples may be sufficient to show that someone is employed by the company where they were staffed to work.

If you have questions about whether you have been misclassified as a temporary worker and may be entitled to back wages or expense reimbursements, please feel free to call our office for a free consultation.

Aiman-Smith & Marcy is a boutique plaintiffs’ law firm based in Oakland, California. Our attorneys specialize in representing employees and consumers in individual and class action lawsuits for wrongful termination, discrimination, misclassification as a temporary worker, and for failure to pay wages, including overtime, meal and rest breaks, and failure to reimburse for expenses as required by law or agreement.

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