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Unfortunately, as an at-will employee, your employer is free to change the conditions of your employment without any prior notice.
However, in order for you to be paid via a 1099 you need to be correctly classified as an independent contractor and not an employee.
The primary test for determining whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor is whether the person has control over his or her work.
As stated in the Department of Industrial Relations website:
"The most significant factor to be considered is whether the person to whom service is rendered (the employer or principal) has control or the right to control the worker both as to the work done and the manner and means in which it is performed."
Additional factors include:
- 1. Whether the person performing services is engaged in an occupation or business distinct from that of the principal;
- 2. Whether or not the work is a part of the regular business of the principal or alleged employer;
- 3. Whether the principal or the worker supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place for the person doing the work;
- 4. The alleged employee’s investment in the equipment or materials required by his or her task or his or her employment of helpers;
- 5. Whether the service rendered requires a special skill;
- 6. The kind of occupation, with reference to whether, in the locality, the work is usually done under the direction of the principal or by a specialist without supervision;
- 7. The alleged employee’s opportunity for profit or loss depending on his or her managerial skill;
- 8. The length of time for which the services are to be performed;
- 9. The degree of permanence of the working relationship;
- 10. The method of payment, whether by time or by the job; and
- 11. Whether or not the parties believe they are creating an employer-employee relationship may have some bearing on the question, but is not determinative since this is a question of law based on objective tests.
In order for you to be paid as an independent contractor you need to be correctly classified as one.
For additional discussion see this website:
If you believe you are being misclassified as an independent contractor you can file a wage claim against your employer with the Department of Industrial Relations for the amount that you should be paid as an employee.
You can file the claim using the forms available online here: