San Diego Attorneys for Employers and Business Owners
Why is it important to hire experienced and proven San Diego business contract attorneys at the Watkins Firm to craft your Independent Contractor Agreement and other important employment contracts or supporting documentation?
One of the hottest issues in California labor law is the argument of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. The California Labor Commissioner and the Employment Development Department (EDD) are aggressively reviewing 1099 workers and independent contractors. The cost for misclassification of employees as an independent contractor can quickly reach six figures per employee.
This is why a carefully crafted Independent Contractor Agreement is so vital to any California or San Diego company. These forms should never be downloaded from a legal form website or drawn up independently by the parties. The Independent Contractor Agreement is a critical business contract which protects your company against claims of misclassification while clearly establishing the nature of the agreement between the parties, the work to be performed and the term of the agreement.
What Elements Should Be Included in an Independent Contractor Agreement?
The Watkins Firm drafts an Independent Contractor Agreement to clearly establish the nature of the parties’ relationship to one another while standing up to judicial or regulatory scrutiny of the independent contractor relationship. This requires the Watkins Firm to balance the relevant “tests” of what constitutes an independent contractor status, and clearly establish the intent of the parties. The agreement must ensure that the parties will conform to the regulatory and legal statutes which govern the status of independent contractors.
Our Independent Contractor Agreements memorialize the reasons why your company is engaging the independent contractor and that the individual or company under contract possesses unique or specialized skills which will be applied to specific tasks for a limited term and for limited business purposes. By the very nature of California laws and regulatory nature, the Independent Contractor Agreement cannot be a long-term contract. An effective contract should limit the term of engagement or establish the boundaries of a limited project or task.
The Independent Contractor Agreement created by the Watkins Firm will also protect your company by clearly establishing the manner in which services or work will be conducted and the latitude required by law for the Independent Contractor to conduct their business. It should reinforce the separation between your companies as well as the unique skill of the contractor and the limited scope of the engagement. Payment should be based upon task or project-related completion and payments under the Independent Contractor Agreement should be made as you would any other supplier or vendor.
There must be a clear separation between the parties which includes no benefits or any other “employee” type of compensation and taxes should always be the responsibility of the independent contractor. The Independent Contractor should provide insurance which protects you from any liability which might arise from their work. Watkins Firm Independent Contractor Agreements almost always contain the same types of trade secret, restrictive covenants and the protection of confidential and proprietary information.
Contact Experienced San Diego Independent Contractor Agreement Attorneys
The quality of your Independent Contractor Agreements will determine the protection you enjoy from the risk of misclassification of employees or other regulatory, tax or judicial liabilities which have become commonplace in California. San Diego business owners must carefully establish relationships with independent contractors and a carefully crafted Independent Contractor Agreement creates peace of mind and the foundation to rebuff any challenge by the IRS, EDD or California Labor Board.
Contact the experienced and proven business and contract attorneys at the Watkins Firm or call us for a free consultation at 858-535-1511. Our clients value the quality, substance and candor of our advice, and the cost-effective manner in which we serve them.