The Houston Chronicle spoke with Gardere Partner Jessica Glatzer Mason regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent notice that would make it more difficult for companies to claim workers as independent contractors. Companies are concerned they might owe back minimum wage, overtime and taxes if it appears their independent contractors should instead be classified as employees.
According to Ms. Mason, if the worker is told where, when and what time to show up, he or she is likely an employee. However, other factors are also important. Worker classification primarily comes down to whether or not workers are economically dependent on the company or truly work for themselves. One clue is if the work is essential to a company's business, such as a homebuilding company that depends on carpenters. "You can't build a house without them," Ms. Mason said.
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