Independent Contractor or Employee?

Independent Construction WorkerConstruction projects tend to involve many different workers doing many different jobs. Sometimes, construction companies hire employees who only work on that particular company’s projects. In many other situations, however, crews can be made up of independent contractors,1 sub-contractors, and other self-employed workers.

Recognizing the legal distinction between an independent contractor and an employee is highly important as wrongly classifying a worker can have many negative legal implications. For example, employees have many rights and protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),2 Title VII,3 and other employment laws with which employers must comply. These laws do not apply to independent contractors, however. This distinction has important tax implications, as well. If a company wrongly classifies a worker as an independent contractor when they truly are en employee, they may be legally culpable of violating numerous laws. 

Distinction between the two classifications

There are many factors considered in determining the status of a worker, with the main test being how much control do you have over the worker? For example, a worker may be an independent contractor if they do the following:

  • Choose when they work
  • Choose for whom they work and have the ability work for multiple companies
  • Choose what they wear, what tools they use, and how the work is performed
  • Provide their own tools and materials
  • Do not receive benefits, such as health insurance or vacation pay, from the company
  • Does not have an employment contract

It is highly important that you always closely examine the entire relationship between your construction company and the worker in question in order to correctly classify the worker and ensure that you comply with all applicable and necessary laws. 

Contact an experienced construction law attorney for a free consultation today

If you have any questions regarding independent contractors, employees, or any other legal matter involving construction law, please do not hesitate to call an experienced attorney at the Dickson Frohlich today.

OUR HIGHLY SKILLED TEAM HANDLES A WIDE ARRAY OF LEGAL ISSUES RELATED TO CONSTRUCTION, SO PLEASE CALL ONE OF OUR OFFICES IN SEATTLE OR TACOMA  AT (206) 621-1110 OR (253) 572-1000 TODAY. 

1http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Defined
2http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/
3http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm