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The distinction between employee and independent contractor can be an extremely important distinction under a number of circumstances.

Whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation or unemployment, for example, will depend first on whether or not you are an employee.

All too often an employer categorizes a worker as an independent contractor because it is advantageous for the employer to do so; however, just because an employer categorizes you as an independent contractor does not necessarily mean you are one in the State of Florida.

In many situations it is clear that a worker has been hired on as an employee.

Likewise, some independent contractor positions are clear. A worker who runs the cash register at McDonalds is clearly an employer while the owner of a construction company who is sub-contracting from a general contractor is clearly in the role of an independent contractor.

There are, however, far more situations that fall into the grey area between the two than you may realize. Is your nanny an employee or an independent contractor? What about the guy who takes care of your yard or the woman who handles transcription for your office on an “as needed” basis?

When it becomes important to decide if someone is an employee or an independent contractor it must be done on a case by case basis because no two scenarios are exactly the same. In the State of Florida, however, guidance can be found in Chapter 443 of the Florida Statutes.

Under that Chapter, the following factors are used when determining if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of unemployment insurance.

As a general rule, the same guidelines are used when the issue comes up in other areas of the law as well.

  • The extent of control which, by the agreement, the business may exercise over the details of the work.
  • Whether the work done in a certain locality is usually done under the direction of the employer or by a specialist without supervision.
  • Whether the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business.
  • Who supplies the instrumentalities, tools, and the place of work.
  • The length of time the person is employed.
  • The skill required in the particular occupation.
  • The method of payment, whether by the time or by the job.
  • Whether the work is a part of the regular business of the employer.
  • Whether the parties believe they are creating the relationship of employer and employee.
  • Whether the hiring party is or is not in business.

If you have additional questions or concerns about your  employment status, or about employment law in general, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Richard Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.