If you work in Massachusetts and your employer doesn’t pay you with at least bi-weekly paychecks withholding taxes, but instead calls you an “independent contractor” and annually issues you a Form 1099, there is a good chance your employer is violating Massachusetts law.
Massachusetts law makes it difficult for an employer to lawfully classify a worker as an independent contractor. A worker can only be classified as an independent contractor if the employer can prove all three of the following prongs of the independent contractor test:
- That the worker is not subject to the employer’s direction and control;
- That the worker does not provide the same type of service to the employer that the employer provides to the general public; and
- That the worker operates an independent business of the same nature as the work he or she provides to the employer.
A business must establish all three of the above requirements to lawfully classify workers as independent contractors; if they fail on even just one of the prongs, they are in violation of the law.
If an employer is found to have misclassified workers, the employer is liable for damages. This means that the employer is required to pay the misclassified employees the wages they would have received had they been properly classified as employees.
If you work in Massachusetts and your employer calls you an “independent contractor,” please give me a call for a free consultation to discuss whether or not this is a violation of Massachusetts law and to talk about your legal rights.