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Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

In the past year, a statewide audit of Utah businesses found that 83% of companies were properly classifying Utah workers according to state law.

To put it another way, roughly 17% of companies in Utah were in at least one violation of fair and legal worker treatment. Those businesses may have improperly classified employees as independent contractors in an attempt to avoid paying unemployment insurance or providing other benefits those workers were rightfully entitled to.

Independent contractors—as opposed to employees—are independently established and operate free from direct control by their clients. While there’s a clear distinction in the legal definition, some businesses may intentionally mislabel employees as independent contractors.

But let’s be clear—Utah law clearly states that all workers are considered employees for the purposes of unemployment insurance unless explicitly shown to be an independent contractor.

With that out of the way, let’s go through some of the most common myths associated with worker classification mistakes:

  • Being issued a 1099 tax form does NOT automatically make you an independent contractors.
  • Independent contractors MAY become employees, and employees are NOT required to become independent contractors.
  • Signing an independent contractor agreement with your employer does NOT automatically make you an independent contractor.
  • Telecommuting does NOT automatically make you an independent contractor.
  • Working off the payroll does NOT mean you are an independent contractor.
  • There’s no such thing as ‘established practices’ with certain industries requiring workers to be independent contractors instead of employees.

If you think you’re eligible for unemployment insurance or other benefits that are being denied on the basis of your worker classification, don’t back down. While most businesses in Utah treat their employees fair and square, some don’t—and they might be trying to talk you out of the benefits you deserve.

If your benefits are being denied and you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Davis & Sanchez right away. As an employee, you have certain rights. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

About Hal Davis

Hey I'm Hal, the founder of Davis & Sanchez. If you're looking for a workers compensation attorney in Utah, or a workers compensation law firm in Idaho you've come to the right place! Also, if you enjoyed this content please subscribe below for more.

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