There are a lot of components to a lawsuit proving misclassified worker status. The most famous case is called Vicaino v. Microsoft Corp.
, wherein the federal courts determined that a throng of 1099-Misc workers were all employees, and Microsoft eventually settled for $97 million dollars.
Legally, in California, if you were found to be a misclassified employee, and you are terminated, then you could demand reinstatement and lost wages. You could also demand to be reimbursed for any retirement and health care not previously provided. And, once reinstated, a future termination could be viewed as retaliation, which would create a brand-new lawsuit. So, in some ways, you become impossible to fire, once you win this sort of lawsuit, and so the employer will usually try to pay you a bunch of money to go away quietly.
When an employment rights lawyer is presented with one of these claims, he/she will try to find the biggest payout possible. You could be owed a small fortune in overtime right now, even though your contract was not original for an hourly wage. There are all sorts of twists and turns. However, there is also no doubt that it is possible for the current contracting party to spread the news that you are "bad business," and even though that type of "blacklisting" is illegal in California, it doesn't help much when you're trying to find work -- and you have a difficult case to prove.
So, the answer here is "no," you may have several other claims against the putative employer, in addition to an unemployment claim.
The alternative, of course, is to agree to the employer's demand to use the domain address, and then wait a while and then have a lawyer threaten to sue unless the employer treats you as an employee. At that point, you are once again in the category of "impossible to fire." But, there is a risk, and you have to be prepared to suffer the risk, no matter which way you go -- other than to simply submit to the employer's demands, no matter how unlawful they may be.
One other thing that you can do is to file a DE 230
with EDD. This can be done anonymously. Then if EDD determines that you and others are employees, your employer will be forced to hire all of you, and it will never know who actually made the report. There's no big payday in this option, but if you're going to be treated like an employee, then you may as well get the benefits.
Hope this helps.
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