Independent Contractor Misclassification

Independent Contractor Or Employee?

D

oes the company you work with consider you an independent contractor as opposed to an employee? As a result of the costs associated with treating an individual as an employee, companies have a perverse incentive to classify you as an independent contractor. While this may be to the company’s benefit, it is almost always is to the disadvantage of the misclassified worker. Independent contractor misclassification can cause a misclassified individual significant monetary damage, including the lack of unemployment and workers’ compensation coverage, being forced to pay the employer share of payroll tax contributions, and lost overtime wages. Luckily, Massachusetts has one of the most stringent independent contractor laws in the country.

If you work in Massachusetts, in order for you to be properly classified as an independent contractor, the company that you perform services for must establish:

  1. That you are free from control in the performance of your services;
  2. That the service you provide is different from the service that the company provides; and
  3. That you essentially run a business through which you can provide the service in question to any individual or company that wishes to receive your service.

If the company that considers you an independent contractor cannot establish ALL three of the above requirements, you are entitled to be treated as an employee.

For a more detailed explanation of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has published a detailed advisory on the subject. It can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/workplace/independent-contractor-advisory.pdf

Moral of the story: Just because a company tells you that you’re an independent contractor, it does not mean that you actually are. Be wary of this relationship, and seek legal advice to ensure that you are being properly classified.

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR MISCLASSIFICATION?

Your Name (required)

Telephone (required)

Your Email (optional)

Subject

Your Message

Please leave this field empty.

PLEASE NOTE: The use of this form does not create an attorney-client relationship. Our law firm will not be representing you unless and until the terms of our representation are discussed and mutually agreed upon by you and our law firm, in writing. Attorney Shafran does not use any personal information for any other purpose including disclosure to third parties. Any inquiry you make will be kept with complete respect to your confidentiality.

30

May2017
Do you not get paid overtime because your employer pays you a salary? One of the most common misconceptions that I come across are employees who think they are not entitled to be paid overtime because they are paid on a salary. Stated simply; salary alone is not enough to ... Read More

Related Employment Law Services

As of January 1st 2015, the new minimum wage in Massachusetts Is $9.00/hr. The Commonwealth has instituted an aggressive minimum wage initiative to raise the minimum wage $1.00 each year…

You’re working hard, you’re earning tips, but are you getting paid all your tips?
Under Massachusetts law, only three classes of employees are eligible to receive and share tips…

Does the company you work with consider you an independent contractor as opposed to an employee? As a result of the costs associated with treating an individual as an employee…

Possibly the most common of all wage violations are overtime violations. Both Massachusetts and federal law provide significant protections to employees who work over forty hours per week…