Can a Temporary or Part Time Worker be an Independent Contractor?
Part Time or Per Diem Status Does Not Affect the Independent Contractor Analysis
Many businesses classify workers as independent contractors if they are part time, or work on a per diem or as needed basis. Some use this classification for an initial probationary period, and convert them to employees upon completion of this period.
It is easy to see the logic of this approach- you may not have steady work for someone, or be ready to make a long term commitment until after a probationary period.
The Independent Contractor Law, however, makes no distinction between full time and part time, or permanent or temporary employees. If you can't meet the three-part test under the law, those individuals should be paid as W2 employees no matter what their hours or frequency of work.
Employers should remember that just making someone a W2 does not mean you have to make a long term commitment, or guarantee certain hours or a set schedule. It only means that you are processing their payroll as a W2, whatever that payroll is, and paying into the tax and state benefit programs that employers are required to pay into.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.
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