Your employee classification status is important. If your employer wrongly claims that you are an independent contractor, you could lose out on employee benefits and rights. This is where the ABC test can assist you.
According to California law, the ABC test establishes three conditions for an employer to legally consider you an independent contractor.
The first part questions whether your employer can direct or control your work performance. To be an employee, your employer must establish the time when you are to work, guide your work actions and provide you with the tools necessary to perform your labor. By contrast, independent contractors generally carry out their work with their own tools and timeframe.
The second part questions whether you have done work that is not a part of the normal course of business of your employer. For example, you are likely to be an independent contractor if you have repaired doors for a company that produces toys for children. Conversely, you may be an employee if you help manufacture or repair toys for the business.
Finally, Part C establishes that to be an independent contractor, you must work as part of an independent business, trade or occupation of an identical nature to the work you have performed. Your employer cannot simply designate you as an independent contractor. Additionally, a person that depends on a single employer for work does not fulfill the Part C requirement.
While the ABC test can be a useful guide, it does not always apply. Certain occupations do not fall under the ABC test umbrella, or federal law may supersede state employment law. Consider possible exceptions under law if you dispute your employment classification.