Job Classification for the Colorado Employer – Employees v. Independent Contractors

Colorado in map of the United States


From Caplan and Earnest, Elizabeth Francis discusses Colorado’s right to control test for determining if a worker is an employee or independent contractor.  Elizabeth writes:  

The “right of control” test.  To determine job classification status, Colorado utilizes a “right of control” test. That is, whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor depends on whether the worker is free from control and direction in the performance of the service (both contractually and in fact) and the worker is engaged in an independent business related to the work being performed.

The Analysis. This determination is based on an evaluation of the employment relationship as a whole. The analysis includes the following considerations:

  1. whether the worker is required to work exclusively for the employer;
  2. whether the quality of work is reviewed by the employer;
  3. compensation structure (e.g. hourly, salary, fixed rate);
  4. whether the employer can terminate the worker during the contract period (for reasons other than a violation of the contract);
  5.  whether the employer provides more than minimal training to the worker;
  6. whether the employer provides tools or benefits to the worker (other than materials and equipment);
  7. whether the employer dictates specific hours during which the worker must complete the project;
  8. whether the worker is paid individually or as a separate business entity; and
  9. whether the business operations of the worker and employer are distinct from each other.

The more an employer exerts control over when, where, and how work is completed, the more likely it is the worker should be classified as an employee. Workers that have more autonomy over their work, are not supervised by the employer, who are engaged in a separate business or trade (i.e. they are in business for themselves), and provide their own equipment, are more likely to be classified as independent contractors.

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