Employee or Independent Contractor?

Employment laws generally apply to "employees," but not to "independent contractors."  Generally, courts will find workers to be employees, unless they meet the definition of a true independent contractor.  Whether a worker is an employee, or independent contractor, is legally determined by examination of the facts surrounding the work relationship - the intention or belief of the parties

as to whether or not the worker is an independent contractor, is irrelevant.

Oregon courts and agencies use two tests: (1) the right to control test; and (2) the economic realities test, to make this determination.  Other factors are listed in ORS 670.600.  The Internal Revenue Service rules also apply.

Employees who are misclassified, often have claims for unpaid minimum wage or other wages, plus 30-days' penalty wages, attorney fees, and payroll tax reimbursement.


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