The simple fact that you work from your Texas home doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an independent contractor. Federal guidelines lay out a number of factors that must be considered when determining if you are a contractor or an employee. For instance, if a company provides you with materials, sets your wage or sets your working hours, you may be an employee.
Why is it so important to be properly classified?
An independent contractor generally has to pay their own payroll taxes as well as obtain health and other forms of insurance. A contractor is also not entitled to a minimum wage or basic workplace protections that employees are allowed to receive. Furthermore, contractors aren’t able to receive unemployment benefits if they are not retained after their contracts expire.
Your employer doesn’t get to choose your classification
It’s important to note that your employer has no say in whether you are an employee or contractor. If the law says that you qualify to be labeled as an employee, you must be labeled as such. In the event that a company wrongly classifies you, it could be subject to financial or other types of penalties. If you feel as if you have been improperly classified, you’re encouraged to file a complaint with the Department of Labor (DOL) or other appropriate authorities. The DOL may also be able to help with other employment law issues that you’re struggling with.
If your employer does not properly classify the relationship that it has with you, you might want to take legal action. Depending on the facts, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover payroll taxes, insurance premiums or other costs that you incurred because of a company’s mistake.