There are times when people work in the gray area of the law in terms of employment contracts and their workers. A client may come to you to suggest an independent contracting arrangement, but if they treat you more like an employee than third-party vendor, there may be trouble brewing.
As an independent contractor, it is normal for you to control the flow of your work. You decide when to work and how to do your job. However, the hours you select could be firm, depending on the contract.
For example, if you have access to a calendar and add to your contract that you’ll work from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. each day on the project, then that is something that the client could hold you to without being your employer, since you set the hours. In a typical employment role, the employer would tell you when to work and define that schedule for you.
You are your boss as an independent contractor
Remember that you are your own boss as an independent contractor. Your clients should not dictate when you work. If they attempt to hold you to a schedule of their own making, then it is more likely that you are an employee than a contractor, and that’s something that you need to address.
What are some other red flags that this is employment and not contracting?
Other red flags may be if the other party tries to control how you do a job or if you perform core services for a business. For example, if they want you to stick to a specific script, work 3:00 to 5:00 every day and require you to perform the main service their business provides, then you are more than likely an employee who is missing out on the benefits and protections that you deserve.
If you believe that you have been misclassified, it’s important to speak with the “client” about whether or not they may actually be your employer. If they disagree and you feel you’re misclassified, you may want to look into your legal options to determine if you have a case.