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Ask The Lawyer By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.

| May 9, 2016

Dan Gwinn New Head ShotQUESTION: CAN MY BOSS CALL ME A FREE-LANCER WHEN I’M NOT?

 

QUESTION: When I was hired at my new full-time job, my boss said I would be an “independent contractor”, which meant I wouldn’t get any vacation days, benefits, overtime, or paid time off, but he’d pay me a couple of dollars an hour more. I took the job, but is that legal?

ANSWER:     If you are not in business for yourself, and you consider yourself to be an employee, then you are probably not an independent contractor. What your employer is doing is very likely unlawful.

The “couple of dollars an hour more” that you are getting is still a bargain for your employer. If you’re an independent contractor or self-employed freelancer, your employer does not have to pay its share of your Social Security taxes, deduct any taxes from your paycheck, pay you any benefits, pay for holidays, provide leave, or contribute to unemployment insurance. If you’re laid off, you won’t be eligible for unemployment. On top of that, as an “independent contractor” you must pay self-employment taxes when you file a tax return, and should be paying your state and federal taxes on a quarterly basis, otherwise you could end up having to write a big check to the government on April 15. You may want to consult with a lawyer to determine whether you are properly classified.

The lawyers at GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced attorneys and are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call for a free initial telephone consultation about your legal needs. For consideration of your questions in our web column, please submit your inquiry on the “Contact Us” page of our website at www.gwinntauriainenlaw.com.

ASK THE LAWYER
By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3300
(248) 247-3310 facsimile
daniel@gwinnlegal.com
www.gwinntauriainenlaw.com

 

 

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