Can You Classify Someone as an Independent Contractor During a Probationary Period?
A Probationary Period Does Not Affect the Independent Contractor Analysis
Many businesses classify workers as independent contractors for an initial probationary period, and convert them to employees upon completion of this period.
You should know that the Independent Contractor Law does not differentiate between probationary and permanent employees. If you can't meet the three-part test under the law, those individuals should be paid as W2 employees even during an initial trial or probationary period.
Employers should remember that it is no harder or easier under the law to end a probationary employment relationship than a permanent one. Unless you have a contract that says otherwise, employment in Massachusetts is at will. This means regardless of status, you can terminate employment for any reason, as long as it is not an unlawful reason under the law.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.
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