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Am I an employee or an independent contractor?

As a worker, you may begin to wonder if you are an employee or independent contractor. There are many reasons why it is important to be accurately classified. For example, this will impact benefit eligibility, pay, and taxes.

There are some basic factors that determine if a person is an employee or independent contractor. Knowing these factors will help you better understand how you should be classified by the company you are working for.

Here are six points of consideration:

-- Whether or not the work being performed is an integral part of the company. Generally speaking, if the work is integral it is more likely that the person is an employee.

-- Whether the person's managerial skills impact their opportunity for profit or loss

-- Investment in equipment and facilities both by the employer and the worker

-- The worker's skill

-- Whether or not the arrangement is permanent or temporary. A permanent arrangement typically suggest an employee status.

-- The level of control the employer has over the worker

Along with the above, if you are unsure of your classification or have questions, don't hesitate to speak with the company. They can help clear the air, ensuring that you are comfortable with the arrangement.

Regardless of your position, you should fight for your right to be classified as an employee, not an independent contractor, if this is legally required. Since this has such a big impact on your benefits and financial situation, you don't want to wait to get things in order. The company you are working with should understand the importance of following the laws that are in place.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Fact Sheet 13: Am I an Employee?: Employment Relationship Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)," accessed Aug. 06, 2015

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