Here's another 2008 independent contractor case we haven't mention yet: Varisco v. Gateway Science and Engineering, Inc. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1099. Where all other indicators point to a bona fide independent contractor relationship, a provision in the independent contractor’s agreement that allows either party to terminate the relationship “at will” does not create an employment relationship between the parties. The clause in question provided:
"The employee or [Gateway Science] may terminate with or without cause and with or without notice employment At-Will at any time. Nothing in this agreement or in any document statement shall limit the right to terminate At-Will employment. No manager, supervisor or employee of [Gateway Science] has any authority to enter into an agreement for employment for any specified period of time or to make an agreement for employment for any specified period of time or to make an agreement for employment other than At-Will terms."
The holding is not a great surprise to anyone who has reviewed the exhaustive list of factors one must consider when determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Although some factors are more important than others (i.e., direct control over the time, place and manner of work), no single factor can be used to trump the overall analysis.