Have You Been Properly Classified As an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
Some companies incorrectly call workers “independent contractors” when they are actually employees. It is important for you to know the difference between the two because employees are legally entitled to greater health and safety protections, wages and benefits. For example, if you are actually an employee then the company that you work for is required to pay you time and a half for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week.
A company owner may call you an independent contractor, or give you an IRS form 1099 instead of a W-2, but this does not automatically make you an independent contractor.
The New Jersey Department of Labor looks at a number of factors to determine whether you are truly an independent contractor, including but not limited to the following.
• Work at a separate location from employees of the company?
• Work independently from control by others?
• Purchase your own supplies and tools that are necessary to your trade, occupation or profession?
• Perform a majority of your work independently from someone else’s business?
• Set your own schedule and pay rates?
• Have your own customers who pay you directly?
• Have your own business license?
If you answer “No,” to some or all of these questions, you may well be an employee. It is important to call an employment attorney if you are not sure whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. An attorney will review your job duties and other factors to determine whether your workplace rights have been violated.