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Independent Contractors

OptimusLaw® Pittsburgh, PA Employment Law Help Center
 
Click here to learn more about attorney Domenic A. Bellisario
 

Independent Contractors

Individuals classified as independent contractors are not considered employees.  Employers are not responsible for providing unemployment insurance coverage or for matching social security and Medicare taxes of independent contractors. 

Determining who is considered an independent contractor can be confusing.  For tax purposes, the IRS considers the following three main categories in making determinations. 

Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Behavioral Control - These facts show whether there is a right to direct or control how the worker does the work. A worker is an employee, not an independent contractor, when the business has the right to direct and control the worker. The business does not have to actually direct or control the way the work is done – as long as the employer has the right to direct and control the work.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Instructions - If workers receive extensive instructions on how work is to be done, this suggests that workers are  employees.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Training - If the business provides workers with training about required procedures and methods, this indicates that the business wants the work done in a certain way, and this suggests that workers may be employees.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Financial Control - These facts show whether there is a right to direct or control the business part of the work.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Significant Investment - If workers have a significant investment in the work, they may be an independent contractor. While there is no precise dollar test, the investment must have substance. However, a significant investment is not necessary to be an independent contractor.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Expenses - If workers are not reimbursed for some or all business expenses, then they may be an independent contractor, especially if the unreimbursed business expenses are high.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Opportunity for Profit or Loss - If workers can realize a profit or incur a loss, this suggests that they are in business for themselves and that they may be an independent contractor.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Relationship of the Parties - These are facts that illustrate how the business and the worker perceive their relationship.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Employee Benefits - If workers receive benefits, such as insurance, pension, or paid leave, this is an indication that they may be employees. If workers do not receive benefits, however, they could be either an employee or an independent contractor.
 Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)Written Contract - A written contract may show what both the worker and the business intend. This may be very significant if it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine status based on other facts..

The U. S. Supreme Court has on a number of occasions indicated that there is no single rule or test for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Court has held that the total activity or situation should be considered. Among the factors which the Court has considered significant are:

Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The extent to which the services rendered are an integral part of the principal's business.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The permanency of the relationship.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The amount of the alleged contractor's investment in facilities and equipment.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The nature and degree of control by the principal.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The alleged contractor's opportunities for profit and loss.
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The amount of initiative, judgment, or foresight in open market competition with others required for the success of the claimed independent contractor..
Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center(sm)The degree of independent business organization and operation..

There are certain factors which are immaterial in determining whether there is an employment relationship. Such facts as the place where work is performed, the absence of a formal employment agreement, or whether an alleged independent contractor is licensed by State/local government are not considered to have a bearing on determinations as to whether there is an employment relationship. Additionally, the Supreme Court has held that the time or mode of pay does not control the determination of employee status.

Important Notice

This information is generic and may or may not apply to this particular city, county, state or your individual circumstances. State laws vary and are continuously changing. This information does not necessarily reflect the laws in Pennsylvania.  It is not intended to be a source of legal advice or a substitute for qualified legal counsel.  Your access to and use of this web site is subject to additional terms and conditions found in our Terms of Use.  Please read it now.

Where can I get legal advice about my Employment Law Law matter or case?

If you have an Employment Law matter or case and want legal advice for your specific situation, call the law firm below to schedule a free consultation. 

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Click here to learn more about attorney Domenic A. Bellisario
 

Important - Please Read Our Terms Of UseTerms of Use Policy - The Pittsburgh PA Employment Law Help Center is provided for your general information only.  This information is generic and may or may not apply to your particular city, county, state or your individual circumstances. State laws vary and are continuously changing. This information does not necessarily reflect the laws in your particular state.  It is not intended to be a source of legal advice or a substitute for qualified legal counsel.  Your access to and use of this web site is subject to additional terms and conditions found in our Terms of Use policy.  Please read it now.

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