What is the "Core Business of the Employer" Under the Independent Contractor Law?
The second part of the three-part test under the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law is that the services the independent contractor provides must be outside of the core business of the employer. This is the prong that is usually the most difficult for an employer to satisfy, because many people who are classified as independent contractors are directly involved in providing the products or services that are the employer's main business.
If the main offering of a company is cleaning services, then people who are hired to clean are likely not true independent contractors. If the company provides accounting services, someone hired to build and maintain their website or do other marketing activities likely would meet this part of the test.
It gets trickier the more closely connected the services are with the business. For example, if a company is exclusively an e-commerce company, and sells directly from its website, the same web designer may or may not be considered outside the "core business."
There are also opportunities for employers to frame the nature of their business in such a way that puts the contractors services outside of the "core business." For example, Uber and Lyft have successfully argued that they not in the driving business but rather the business of connecting riders and drivers through their apps, therefore the people hired to actually provide the driving services have, at least sometimes, been held to meet this part of the test.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.
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