What about unpaid training for an independent contractor?

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What about unpaid training for an independent contractor?

I was just hired as an independent contractor for a non-profit adoption agency. I am to come into the office to participate in 2 days worth of training. Is this legal? Also, if it is, can this time be written off in my taxes?

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The "time" can't be written off on your taxes, but any expenses associated with the training can be.  Any time a company trains a third party--it makes the relationship look a LOT more like an employer/employee relationship than a principal/independent contractor relationship.  There is no black and white definition of one situation versus the other, but when determining if there is an employer/employee relationship or a principal/independent contractor relationship courts look to the following:

regular hours

place of work


method of pay

control over work (hours, manner, uniform, etc.)

who supplies tools?

If you think that you are an employee and not an independent contractor, then you should consult BOTH a local attorney and the local labor commissioner. 

Best of luck.

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