Independent Contractors: Are You Secretly an Employee?

From Payscale —

A Checklist for Determining the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor

Ask yourself the following questions if you are not sure whether your work responsibilities fit the definition of employee or independent contractor.

  • When and where must you do your work? If you are required to do your work in the office, at your desk, and under your boss’s control, you are an employee.
  • What tools or equipment do you use? If you are required to purchase or bring your own tools or equipment, you are most likely an independent contractor. Employers provide tools and equipment.
  • How much instruction are you given? Employees are taught how to do their jobs. Independent contractors are hired to deliver an end-product.
  • Are you guaranteed an hourly wage? You are an employee. If you bill for your time, you are an independent contractor.
  • Do you have benefits such as sick pay? You are an employee.
  • Are you a permanent worker at the place of business? An independent contractor may be on retainer, meaning that they get called when they are needed. For example, perhaps you fix computers. The company calls you when they need your help and expertise, and you may be an independent contractor. But if you are a permanent fixture in the office and come to work every day, you are more likely an employee….

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