Employment laws can be confusing and downright scary.

They don’t have to be. As a public service, from now until my special Halloween webinar Answers to the World’s Scariest Employment Law Questions, I’ll be tackling each major law one by one to give you what you REALLY need to know. By the end, you’ll have handy one-page cheat sheets for each and every law and your terror level will be reduced to zero.

Today’s Topic: Independent Contractors

Here is basically everything you need to know about independent contractors in one handy post.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR CHEAT SHEET

This handy little checklist is a guide to help you determine whether an individual is an actual independent contractor. Generally, the more “yes” answers you have, the more likely it is that a person is an IC. As always, please please please consult with your legal counsel before making any final decisions.

  1. Is the individual working on a discrete project that is limited in time (versus work that is ongoing and integral to the company’s normal business functions)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  2. Does the work involve special skills and training not currently possessed by company employees?
    ___Yes  ___No
  3. Does the work involve skills and training which the individual already possesses (versus skills for which the individual needs training from the company)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  4. Does the individual pay for his/her own business expenses?
    ___Yes  ___No
  5. Does the individual pay for his/her own travel?
    ___Yes  ___No
  6. Is the individual responsible for his/her own federal and state taxes?
    ___Yes  ___No
  7. Is the individual paid a set price per project or on a straight commission basis (versus on a set schedule in the form of a salary, regular wage or piece-rate)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  8. Does the individual provide the company with invoices for fees (versus time sheets)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  9. Does the individual offer his/her services to entities other than the company?
    ___Yes  ___No
  10. Is the individual free to accept projects from other entities?
    ___Yes  ___No
  11. Does the individual have a distinct occupation?
    ___Yes  ___No
  12. Is the individual self-employed?
    ___Yes  ___No
  13. Is the individual performing services for the company as part of his/her own independently established business?
    ___Yes  ___No
  14. Are the manner and means for achieving the specified results left to the individual’s discretion?
    ___Yes  ___No
  15. Are the individual’s hours, places, order and sequencing of the work left to his/her discretion?
    ___Yes  ___No
  16. Is the individual free of extensive supervision, especially in regards to the means and manner of performance?
    ___Yes  ___No
  17. Is the work performed at a location separate from the company premises?
    ___Yes  ___No
  18. Does the individual have a significant investment in the facilities or equipment which will be used in performing the work (i.e., does s/he provide the necessary tools, equipment and material for the performance of the work)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  19. Is the individual permitted to select, direct and pay anyone who will assist in achieving the desired results?
    ___Yes  ___No
  20. Is dismissal of the individual premised on some type of failure to comply with an agreement, such as a failure to perform work (versus the individual being subject to “dismissal at any time for any reason”)?
    ___Yes  ___No
  21. Is there an understood consequence to the individual for quitting prior to the completion of the project?
    ___Yes  ___No
  22. Is the individual free to reject additional projects from the company?
    ___Yes  ___No

Stay tuned for more. Tomorrow we’ll de-scare-ify the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).