How do I go about questioning the legal status of my work with a company that is based out of state?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2015

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How do I go about questioning the legal status of my work with a company that is based out of state?

I do online moderation for them and they say I provide this to them as a “service” or as an independent contractor. The thing is, they control my schedule…pay, and how I do my job. I have to also file reports, etc. From what I’ve read, the amount of control a company has over someone can determine whether or not they are indeed an employee or not. I don’t know how to quite word all of this but I am just curious as to what the necessary steps would be in figuring this out.

Asked on June 19, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You seem to know what you are talking about: if an employer wields sufficient control over an employee, especially how the job is done, the schedule, etc., he or she IS an employee, not an independent contractor--which means that he or she would be paid overtime (if not an exempt employee), the employer must take out withholding and make social security and UI payments, the employee may be entitled to benefits like sick leave, vacation time, a 401(k), etc.

The best ways to proceed are either to contact your state labor department, which will often field complaints of this nature and investigate them (or if they feel the employer's state's labor department is more appropriate to look into this, they will tell you that); or else to speak with an employment law attorney, who can advise you as to whether you have a case, what it might be worth, and how to pursue it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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