Employees have rights to certain benefits like medical leave, overtime, worker’s compensation and more. Independent contractors, on the other hand, cannot claim the same rights.
In order to avoid giving out these benefits and to avoid payroll obligations, some businesses will falsely misclassify employees as contractors. But this is not up to the employer to decide.
The United States Department of Labor spends time busting myths related to employment misclassification, pulling back the curtain on common lies that employers may espouse in order to get employees to keep quiet about misclassification matters.
Myth: off-site workers are contractors
The first myth: anyone who works from home or off-site is a contractor. The definition of an employee does not mention where they work physically. The work itself simply needs to meet the definition of an employee, regardless of location.
Myth: once an independent contractor, always one
The second myth: independent contractors are always independent contractors. If the nature of a person’s work changes and they no longer qualify as an independent contractor, their contract and standing in the company should change to fit.
Myth: employee classifications are always right
The third myth: a worker is not an employee if they receive a 1099 form or are not on the payroll. This is a consequence of how an employer has classified an employee but does not necessarily mean that classification is correct.
If a person fits the definition of an employee but their employer insists on keeping them registered as an independent contractor, then it is highly possible that this is an intentional misclassification and something that the worker can take action against.