If I was misclassified as an independent contractor but was actually an employee for over a year, am I eligible for unemployment?

UPDATED: Jun 16, 2012

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If I was misclassified as an independent contractor but was actually an employee for over a year, am I eligible for unemployment?

I was recently laid off from my job in which I worked for over a year as an independent contractor and was brought on as a regular employee for 2 months before being laid off. Based on common law guidelines, I believe I was misclassified as an independent contractor as was I was required to work certain hours, I was required to in the office, I received training for my job, I was paid an hourly wage, and I was told how to do my job. Also, they did not have me sign a 1099 which I know is illegal if payment over $600 is made. Am I eligible and how would I proceed with unemployment?

Asked on June 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should first contact the state's department of labor and also the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Bring all of your paperwork, put everything in writing on your job duties, who you reported to, what you did, where you worked, any paychecks you received, and the like. The fact you never received a 1099 is quite important. Hopefully this same office will be able to work with you on getting the proper taxes and contributions reported and then help you in collecting unemployment.

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