The courts are able to distinguish between an employee and independent contractor based on these facts. An employee will have a contractual agreement with the employer that is a legal and enforceable agreement and indicates if the worker is full time or part-time with a compensation plan that offers full benefits such as medical insurance, family leave, workers compensation, etc. a part-time worker may receive the same benefits but may not be entitled to the same benefits as a full-time worker. An independent contractor is hired by an employee to perform a specific duty. These workers are not entitled to any benefits such as sick time, paid vacation or medical insurance. In order for the courts to distinguish an independent contractor, an economic realities test is conducted. At this time work hours, days, location and setting will be determined. Also the contractor has to complete all job assignments or may be terminated at will.
The positives of being an employee are; a benefit package, paid vacation, tuition reimbursement, pension plans etc. The cons are insurance rates rise every year, micro-management, job changes, may be forced to work swing shifts, not being paid what you are worth.
The positives of being an independent contractor are; normally make more money than a regular employee, you are your own boss, no long term work commitments, and they able to claim business expenses. The cons are may not qualify for unemployment benefits, must withhold their own federal and state taxes, may have to carry liability insurance. Other risks of an independent contractor are; misclassification by IRS, no job security, risk of not being paid and must purchase own tools.
Gutman, A. (2000). EEO law and personnel practices (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ledvinka, J., & Scarpello, V. G. (1991). Federal regulation of personnel and human resources management (2nd ed.) Boston: PWS Kent.