Businesses are examining the option of treating the people who do the work for them as independent contractors and not employees. Independent contractors can be denied most of the protections the law provides to employees. These include, but are not limited to, withholding taxes, employer's share of Social Security contributions and State Disability Insurance premiums, overtime compensation, overtime premiums, breaks, reimbursement of expenses for business use of employees' vehicles or other tools and equipment, vacation pay, sick pay, and health benefits. Some businesses also feel less inhibited about terminating, reducing compensation and reducing hours of independent contractors than of employees, even with respect to at-will employees.
There are at least 14 factors a court, tax authority or employment-related government agency will look at to determine whether or not your workers are really independent contractors or are employees. Only one of those factors is the language in the contract which says that the worker is an independent contractor and not an employee. In the July 2017 case of Espejo v. The Copley Press, Inc., a class action by the men and women who deliver the San Diego Union, the Court of Appeal held that, "The label placed by the parties on their relationship is not dispositive, and subterfuges are not countenanced."
The principal test of an employment relationship is whether the person to whom service is rendered has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the result desired.