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Independent Contractor Classification

A person may be considered an independent contractor when some of the following describes their employment conditions:

  • You own and are responsible for some or all of the equipment or tools that are used to complete your job;

  • You are in business for yourself. This means that you can make a profit, but you also have the risk of losing money from the work you complete;

  • Whether you are economically dependent on the company;

  • You determine how and/or where your work is completed;

  • You can subcontract some of your work;

  • The company can end your contract for service(s);

  • The company cannot discipline you.

However, there is no single factor that the Courts will look at to determine if a person is an employee or an independent contractor. The Courts will look at the relationship as a whole before classifying a person as an independent contractor, dependent contractor or employee, and this is done on a case-to-case basis. 

Where a person agreed, verbally or in writing, that they are designated an independent contractor, is not determinative of the issue. This is because employees and dependent contractors may be entitled to more benefits such as notice of termination, whereas independent contractors may not be.  

How do I know if I am an Employee or Independent Contractor?

It can sometimes be difficult to determine if you are an employee or an independent contractor. For example, a person may own and be responsible for all of their tools but may have no control over their work, hours or rate of pay. Further, there are many misconceptions about how to tell the difference between an independent contractor and an employee. 

For example, a person may still be considered an employee even where they agreed to be an independent contract, charge HST, use their own vehicle for work purposes, and don’t have any statutory deductions from their pay (such as tax, CPP or EI).

Finally, you might even belong to an intermediate category called “dependent contractor.”

How can Zeilikman Law help?

In circumstances where you are unsure about the status of your employment as either an employee or an independent contractor, it is recommended to speak to an employment lawyer. Contact one of our experienced employment lawyers today to set up a consultation to discuss your options.

At Zeilikman Law, we approach these issues with logical and creative solutions. Our lawyers are youthful, professional, friendly and determined. We have the know-how to navigate through the psychology of any given dispute.

Request a consultation to learn more!