more than 40 years of legal experience
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue | Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7

Contractor Lawyer

For nearly 40 years, Doran Law has assisted British Columbia workers misclassified as independent contractors, impacting their employment rights.

Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Contractor Lawyer

In British Columbia, workers fall under three classifications. Each category has significant legal implications on the rights each worker category is entitled to. For about four decades, the law firm of Doran Law has been helping employees who may have lost jobs after being incorrectly identified as independent contractors, a common law practice in British Columbia.


Additionally, our independent contractor lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of business law and employment. We diligently work to protect your rights while ensuring you get practical guidance and legal support at every step of your employment or contract dispute.


Indeed, the Law Firm of Doran Law protects clients’ interests by ensuring proper implementation of the relevant law and a higher proficiency level. We also provide consistent and reliable client support that may constitute legal advice.

Independent Contractors, Employees, and Dependent Contractors

Whether you’re considered a contractor or an employee of a particular company influences many aspects of your job. These aspects include liability for accidents that may happen in your line of work, filing taxes, notice, severance pay (the pay you are entitled to when a working relationship ends), pay in place of notice, and more.


Beyond the differences between an employee and a contractor, there are also important differences between an independent contractor and a dependent contractor. Here are important differences you should know.


The employee-employer relationship is likely the most common work relationship and is guided by the Employment Standards Act. Thus, employees usually enjoy the benefits of their rights outlined by the statute. Some of the rights guaranteed include the right to reasonable vacation pay, the right to sick days, and the right to take a leave of absence for certain reasons.


Additionally, employees are entitled to reasonable notice or pay in place of notice, particularly when their employment is about to be terminated without cause. The statute also guarantees that employees whose employment gets terminated without a cause are entitled to a reasonable notice within a specific period or pay in lieu of notice for each year they have been working officially for the employer.


The amount of notice outlined in the Employment Standards Act is only the guaranteed minimum. Unless you signed an employment agreement that states that you are entitled to the statutory minimum upon termination without a cause, you may be entitled to considerably more pay. Thus, consult our skilled lawyers to discuss your case.


Suppose your employment agreement doesn’t restrict you to the minimum notice requirement that’s guaranteed in the employment law. In that case, a court can apply the common law to assess the amount of notice your employer owes you for termination without a cause. Our experienced lawyers can provide the support and legal guidance you need during this process.

Independent Contractor

An independent contractor is different from an employee in many ways. For instance, all independent contractors aren’t expected to dedicate much of their attention and time to one employer. Thus, they can register and manage their businesses. They are also free to render their services to different clients.


Indeed, independent contractors may be considered business owners. They enjoy the benefits associated with deducting some business-related costs from their business income, particularly when filing taxes.


On the flip side, an independent contractor doesn’t enjoy the entitlement to certain benefits and protections guaranteed to employees under the law. If a company plans to fire an independent contractor, it can do so without owing anything to the contractor other than the outstanding pay for the completed work.


This is one of the main reasons some companies may try to classify employment relationships as independent contractors. If this happens, you need the help of our experienced lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.


To determine whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor, a court can evaluate various factors. For example, the court may consider whether you provide your own tools, assume any financial risk or have the chance to profit from the services you provide (the business you undertake).  


Additionally, a court may consider whether you have the freedom to serve multiple clients or must render your services to one employer or client exclusively. Being misclassified as independent contractors can lead to significant implications for employees.


Whether you are a payor or worker and still have questions regarding worker classifications, related rights, and obligations, our knowledgeable lawyers will be pleased to help.

Dependent Contractor

There’s a third category or classification of workers that doesn’t fit into either the class of independent contractors or employees. Dependent contractors are workers who are considered economically dependent on an employer but are not employees.

From a legal perspective, the most important distinction between independent and dependent contractors is that the latter are still entitled to timely notice or pay in lieu of lack thereof, particularly if their assistance is no longer required by the person or company that they have been working for.


Until recently, the set formula or test for determining if a certain worker was a dependent contractor assessed the duration of their working relationship. It also evaluated the overall closeness of the business-client relationship and the level of exclusivity of that relationship.


While the business relationship doesn’t have to be entirely exclusive, the contractor must prove economic dependency or that they relied on the business transactions from that client (the company or individual they work for). For instance, if a single contract accounted for 35 percent of your business, it’s assumed that you relied on that business relationship.


Note that a recent case law has, however, specified that for a contractor to be dependent on a certain business relationship, the contract must be at least 50 percent of the contractor’s total business. Undoubtedly, the evolving work classifications emphasize the distinct roles of independent contractors, employees, and dependent contractors.


The law firm of Doran Law has been playing a key role in guiding employees, employers, dependent contractors, and independent contractors in navigating the complex laws that govern the classification of work relationships in British Columbia. A proper understanding of these worker classifications is important to ensure regulatory compliance, fair treatment, and successful business relationships in Vancouver’s dynamic work landscape.


If you have any questions about whether you are considered an employee, a dependent contractor, or an independent contractor, don’t hesitate to contact our contract lawyers for help. We will assess your business relationship with your client or employer and ensure your work relationship is appropriately classified.

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Office Location

Surrey Office
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7
Phone: 604-542-9455
Fax: 604-542-9493

Office Hours

Monday – Friday | 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

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