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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6694
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work for a non-profit organization. I am a 1099 contract

Resolved Question:

I work for a non-profit organization. I am a 1099 contract employee, and I feel like I'm being taken advantage of.

Does my employer have a right to demand my physical presence in an office if (a) my contract doesn't stipulate it and (b) it comes at high travel costs to me without any of the benefits of being an employee? My contract states nothing about travel, commuting, or place of work.

Am I misclassified? I do integral work; the company would wither without me. If so, what're my redress options?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

LegalPro54 :

Hello and thank you for allowing me to assist you. I'm sorry to hear that you feel you are being mistreated at work.

Customer:

Sorry

Customer:

I had to switch to IE

Customer:

firefox wouldn't display my chat

Customer:

Yeah, I don't like it either, but the worst part is I don't even know if I AM being mistreated!

LegalPro54 :

Do you have a contract that guarantees you employment for a specified period of time? Also, are you part of a union?

Customer:

yes, it's a one-year contract that's about to be renewed, again, so I've almost completed two years and am starting on a third

Customer:

and no, no union

LegalPro54 :

I see.

LegalPro54 :

Generally speaking, absent a contract clause specifically permitting an employee to work from home, an employer is free to require an employee to commute to work, even if commuting to work is a great inconvenience to the employee.

LegalPro54 :

This is true even if your physical present is not reuqired for you to carry out the responsbiilities of your position.

Customer:

sigh

Customer:

I'd be happier to do it if I were an employee

Customer:

and received the benefits of being an employee

LegalPro54 :

I wish that I could give you better news, but I can only tell you what the law provides for in this instance.

Customer:

but I'm a contractor, even though I feel like I'm treated like an employee

Customer:

no, yeah, I'm not asking for "good news," I just want your information :)

LegalPro54 :

This does not directly relate to your question but is somethign you should keep in mind:

LegalPro54 :

....

Customer:

[listening]

LegalPro54 :

A worker is more likely to be regarded as an employee than a contractor the more restrictions and requirements an employer puts on HOW the worker must complete their job.

Customer:

OK, I know you're a busy person so I won't take up too much more of your time, but can you give me an example?

LegalPro54 :

Thus, if your employer is retaining a great deal of control over the means by which you carry out your job duties, you may in fact be an employee. Such a designation would require more than simply forcing you to commute to work, but still this is something you shoudl be conscious of.

LegalPro54 :

Here is a very helpful link discussing the distinction between independent contractor and employee: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_independentcontractor.htm

LegalPro54 :

Now as I said, this is not DIRECTLY relevant to your question, but is something you should be conscious of. Even if you were an employee, your employer would still be free to require you to come to work, so it doesn't change the answer to your question.

LegalPro54 :

You can mention to your employer that requiring you to come to work means they are dictating how you accomplish your duties, which is inconsistent with being an independent contractor.

Customer:

OK, that makes sense, I should do some research on the conditions by which someone like me - social media - would be classified as an employee instead of a contractor

Customer:

:-D

Customer:

now THAT is something I can do!

LegalPro54 :

Perhaps they would re-evaluate this requirement of you if presented in that light.

LegalPro54 :

But please understand I cannot "recommend" that you do this. I cannot advise you on what to do because I am not your attorney.

Customer:

you're giving me information, not advice

Customer:

just based on the legal information you have in your brain, not in your capacity as a lawyer

LegalPro54 :

Exactly.

Customer:

OK, well, you've been a great help, I may come back and request you again, legalpro54

LegalPro54 :

Well, I hope that this helps you. Have I adequately addressed your concerns?

LegalPro54 :

Thanks a lot. Please remember to click "accept" when you leave.

Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6694
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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