Independent contractors are workers that are not categorized as employees of a company, but as separate entities responsible for much of their own equipment, safety, and training. An independent contractor takes on much more risk with their work than a typical employee does. Classifying workers as independent contractors is beneficial to employers, because it allows them to assume less responsibility over worker safety, benefits, and worker pay. However, thousands of employees are misclassified as independent contractors, which means those workers lose money, may be at greater risk of injury, and could be without benefits and legal protections that employees have from government agencies.
How Do You Know If You're a Misclassified Worker?
- You have received training: The more training that an employee gets, the more likely they will legally need to be categorized as an employee. If you have received safety training, or detailed instructions on how to do your job a certain way, you could be an employee.
- You use employer materials and facilities: How much equipment and facilities does the employer provide for your job? If you are not providing your own equipment, it’s more likely that you should be considered an employee.
- You do not risk suffering a loss: Contractors are more likely to be paid per job instead of hourly. If you are paid hourly, provided a workspace and materials, and receive job instructions and training, you are less likely to suffer a loss and should probably be classified as an employee.