Classifying Employees and Independent Contractors—A Worker Classification Cheat Sheet


Employee misclassification is on a lot of people’s minds. Hillary Clinton has even made it a part of her campaign. It’s pretty irritating that the rules are confusing, vary from state to state, and are often subjective, but there are a few standards that remain true across the board.

If you want to get all the rules straight from the horse’s mouth/in the government’s own words, you can get the whole scoop right here. This covers the 20 factors they consider in full, governmental legalese.

Skip the legalese and give me the highlights, you say? You got it. According to this article on Forbes, a few consistent factors apply to “most worker status cases.” Should you find yourself trying to defend your worker classification choice, the following elements are most likely to be considered:

  • The employer’s degree of control over the worker
  • The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss
  • The worker’s investment in facilities
  • How long-term the relationship is
  • The worker’s skill set

As you are classifying and auditing your current classifications, start by examining the basics above and dig deeper when you’re ready.

In the meantime, check out our series on the subject:

Worker Classification: Top Ten Classification Compliance Mistakes

Worker Classification: 5 Reasons Companies Can’t Ignore Compliance Rules

Worker Classification: What’s the Problem And Why Should You Care?

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail—right down to worker classification—perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

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