Compliance: Making sense of the myriad tests for independent contractor v. employment status

There are multiple tests depending upon which area of law is implicated

The question of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor can have very important consequences, as the two categories receive very different treatment under the law. To name only a few differences, there are no federal or state income tax withholding obligations for independent contractors; wage and hour laws do not apply to independent contractors; most anti-discrimination laws do not apply to independent contractors. And, of course, the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act does not apply in the case of independent contractors. There is a lot riding on the question.

It can sometimes be difficult to predict whether a worker will be deemed an employee or an independent contractor, but there are multiple tests depending upon which area of law is implicated.

Contributing Author

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Michael A.S. Newman

Michael Newman is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barger & Wolen LLP. He is handles a broad range of litigation matters including...

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