San Diego Employment Misclassification Attorney

The Jackson Law Firm has been fighting to protect the rights of employees in San Diego and throughout the region for more than 40 years. Our law practice is limited exclusively to the representation of employees only.

If you have reason to believe that your employer wrongfully hired you as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, or changed your job classification from non-exempt (hourly wage earner) to exempt (salaried) inappropriately, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable Employment Law Attorney.

Numerous legal issues may result when misclassification occurs. At the Jackson Law Firm, our seasoned lawyers will thoroughly review the circumstances of your case to determine if you have been the victim of misclassification.

Please contact us today at (858) 552-4900 to speak with an experienced attorney and obtain a free telephonic case analysis. Our regular office hours are 8:30 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, but you can call and leave a message at any time – 24/7. We are happy to provide evening and weekend office appointments by prior arrangement for your convenience. If you call about an employment law matter during regular office hours, you will be put through to an experienced plaintiff’s employment attorney. You will not be asked to explain your case to a receptionist, secretary or paralegal and wait for a call back.

Misclassification Lawyer in San Diego

Misclassification typically takes one of two forms: an employer either tells an employee that the employee is an “independent contractor” or tells the employee that he is “salaried” or “exempt.” 

Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor and whether you are exempt or nonexempt is a matter of law and depends on what you do, how you are paid, and how much control you have over when and how you do your job. Your employer’s decision as to your status is not controlling. 

If you are a non-exempt (hourly) employee, you are entitled to the protections of the overtime, anti-discrimination and certain other laws, and your employer cannot exempt himself from following those laws by treating you as exempt or as an independent contractor - even if your employer has you sign a paper agreeing to your status characterization. People cannot agree to ignore the laws designed to protect employees. Job titles are also wholly irrelevant.

Exempt or Salaried

Employees misclassified as “salaried” or “exempt” are generally denied overtime pay and are often denied meal or rest breaks.

California’s rules concerning which employees are exempt differ from the federal rules. Many people who might be considered exempt under federal law are not exempt under state law. For this reason, many employers headquartered out of state and relying on federal law will designate a category of employees as exempt without reviewing the California rules which entitle employees working in California to the benefits of the overtime laws. 

Generally speaking, “exempt” employees are executives, administrative personnel, professionals (doctors, lawyers, and others in similar occupations), software developers, and outside sales people. The fact you are a “professional” house painter, etc. does not automatically confer exempt status. Exempt employees are salaried – meaning your pay check cannot depend on how many days or hours you work or on how many items you create or sell. 

However, the fact your employer pays you a flat “salary” does not mean you are truly an exempt employee; as well as being paid a flat salary, your duties have to qualify you as exempt. 

Independent Contractor

An employee misclassified as an “independent contractor” may be denied not only overtime and rest/meal breaks, but also denied entitlement to unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, social security, the protection of the medical leave and anti-discrimination laws and even the minimum wage laws.

This issue of whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor is complex, but largely depends on how much control the employer has over when, where and how services are performed. 

If you have questions about whether your employer has improperly treated you as either an independent contractor or an exempt employee, contact the experienced San Diego Employment Law Attorneys at the Jackson Law Firm as soon as possible. We will provide a comprehensive case analysis and take immediate action to preserve your rights.

Contact a San Diego Employment Misclassification Law Firm for Answers

Since 1974, San Diego Employment Lawyers at the Jackson Law Firm have been representing employees throughout the region.  

If you have reason to believe that your employer has misclassified your true employment status, contact us today at 858-552-4900 or online by completing our Employment Law Case Evaluation Form.

Conveniently located in Sorrento Valley, we represent clients who work throughout the County.  Initial phone consultations and case evaluations are free – give us a call and you can speak with an employment lawyer today. Most Employment Law matters are taken on contingency. Please call for additional information.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorneys at JacksonLaw, LLP are licensed to practice law in the State of California.

Practice  Areas

10951 Sorrento Valley Rd.

Suite 1-G

San Diego, CA 92121

Phone: (858) 552-4900

Fax: (858) 552-4904


Contact Us

Pay & Overtime Disputes

Employment Discrimination

Wrongful Termination

Meal and Rest Breaks

Employee / Independent

Contractor Misclassification

Disability Discrimination

and Accommodation

Sexual Harassment

Federal Employees

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