Generally, home workers are not employees under common-law rules because they are
free from control of their work methods. They work under agreements that only require
them to complete their assignments, according to specifications, and within designated
Under the usual arrangement, the firm furnishes the industrial home worker with materials
and general instructions to provide a finished product that meets the firm's standards.
The firm pays for the completed products on a piecework basis. The industrial home
worker does not have to give preference to the firm's work, although he or she has
to complete assignments within a specified time. The industrial home worker may work
for others; however, in many cases, the one firm usually furnishes enough work to
keep the industrial home worker busy full-time. Home workers must redo unsatisfactory
work without pay. The firm does not prescribe set hours of work, or supervise the
industrial home worker.
Industrial home workers who work under this arrangement, or a similar type of arrangement,
are independent contractors. There is no control over their hours of work, the conditions
to do the work, or in many cases, over who does the work. Although the firm may withhold
additional assignments from them, thus terminating the relationship, if an assignment
is not completed, it has no right to discharge the industrial home worker. They cannot
be compelled to lay aside a particular piece of work and turn to other work. If the
finished product is unsatisfactory, although the work must comply with specifications
and the firm may reject the finished product, you may find such conditions in any
contract with an independent contractor. For example, the independent contractor must
meet contract requirements to receive his or her pay.