Can a Worker Be an Employee AND an Independent Contractor?

Some employers avoid paying overtime pay by counting the same worker as both an employee and as an independent contractor. How can this happen? Here are two examples.

A chiropractor hires a massage therapist. The therapist is considered a part-time employee for the first part of the day. The person gives massages and does some filing. The rest of the day, she does massages only. But, she does not set her own rate for the massages, set her own hours, use her own supplies, or bring her own clients. Given the control the chiropractor exerts over the worker, she should be considered an employee. But, under this arrangement, the employer not only gets away with not paying benefits since the worker is “part-time” (even though she works more than 40 hours a week!), but the company doesn’t have to pay overtime wages, either.

The company hires a bookkeeper as an employee. Her regular hours are 8-5, Monday-Friday. But, it’s necessary for the bookkeeper to work two weekends each month. The company considers her an independent contractor for the work she performs on Saturdays and Sundays. So, even though she performs the exact same work, she does not get overtime pay because she’s not working “as an employee” on the weekends.

If your company tries to get you to do double-time as both an employee and an independent contractor, consult with a Maryland wage lawyer. Contact the Maryland overtime attorneys at Kennedy Hodges by calling 888.449.2068 or by filling out our online form.