9 Ways to Tell If You’re an Employee or Independent Contractor

W2 or 1099


In 2008, I divorced Human Resources. For the most part, I hated the work, and really don’t tell people about that part of my life. However, things have been happening lately that require my knowledge and I’m putting on my HR cape to help people who are unaware of their employment rights.

For example, my friend was recently hired as an independent contractor. After I looked at his offer letter, it is clear that he is an employee according to the IRS guidelines.

Following are the primary provisions of the checklist that qualifies him as an employee:

  1. You are given instruction on when, where and how to work.
  2. You receive training to perform your job.
  3. Your position is integrated into the business operations because the services are important to the success of the business.
  4. Your service is rendered personally.
  5. You have set work hours.
  6. You work classification – full-time or part-time – is determined by your employer.
  7. Your work area is determined by your employer.
  8. You are paid by the hour, week or month.
  9. The employer pays all employment taxes and you receive a W-2.

Essentially, all of these things are controlled by employers. The following provisions apply to independent contractors:

You set your own working schedule.

  1. You set your own rates.
  2. You determine your work place – home, Starbucks, the beach….wherever.
  3. You work when you feel like it.
  4. You pay your own taxes via 1099

You are pretty much on your own.

Have you ever been hired by a company that classified you as an independent contractor even though you were an employee? What did you do? Did you even know that you were incorrectly classified?


Image: blog.smallbusinessadvocate