What is the Difference Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee?

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As you may know, independent contractors and employees are two different types of workers. Both independent contractors and employees come with their own sets of benefits and drawbacks, as well as rights and responsibilities. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Midlothian employment attorney from Passero Employment Law to learn more about what makes an independent contractor different from an employee and how our firm can help if you believe your rights have been violated as either. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What makes an employee different from an independent contractor?

Though both employees and independent contractors work for compensation, there are some important distinctions between the two. To start, independent contractors are typically considered to be self-employed. Because of this, their employer will have less control over them. Very often, independent contractors will set their own schedules (but not always). Additionally, independent contractors typically work on a project-to-project basis, whereas employees work under the expectation that they will be at the same company for the foreseeable future.

Another important distinction is that in most cases, employers are not required to provide independent contractors with certain benefits, such as health insurance or workers’ compensation. However, employees, on the other hand, do have access to these benefits, provided their employer offers them.

Does an employee have more protections under the law than an independent contractor?

They do. Employees are protected under both federal and state laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, while independent contractors are not. In most cases, independent contractors also aren’t protected from discrimination or retaliation, as traditional employees are. Because employees are offered so much more protection under the law as opposed to independent contractors, it is imperative to understand exactly what your position is within a company.

It is important to note that sometimes, employers may incorrectly classify certain employees as independent contractors, either on purpose to save money, or by accident. In any case, however, a misclassification should be addressed sooner, rather than later. If you believe your employer has misclassified you, yet your employer refuses to admit as much, you should strongly consider hiring a seasoned employment law attorney who can assess the nature of your working relationship, and, if necessary, hold your employer accountable and get you the benefits you need.

Passero Employment Law is here to assess your case, determine whether you’re being properly classified, and, from there, work to build an effective strategy on your behalf. Contact us today.

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