Daniel Lublin, Toronto Employment Lawyer clarified the distinction between a contractor and an employee in his latest article My job’s in jeopardy and I’m treated as a contractor. What can I do? published in the Globe and Mail. The distinction between independent contractor and employee is critical as getting it wrong can cost both parties.
In order to determine whether a worker is a contractor or an employee, courts will look at how the individual and the employee behaved; not only what was agreed to in writing. A written contractor agreement or letter of understanding will not, by itself, mean an individual is truly a contractor or an employee.
There are different tests to establish when a worker is a contractor or an employee, but most commonly asked questions can be found in Daniel’s latest article.
Our lawyers are skilled in drafting independent contractor agreements and providing strategic advice on how to structure the relationship. If you want to employ or be employed as a contractor, then do as follows:
Ensure that there is a clear separation between the employer’s business and the contractor. Permit the contractor to perform services for others and to maintain genuine discretion over how and when the job is performed. Even an airtight independent contractor agreement will not be reliable unless the parties stick to what it says.