BASIC (12-03)

SL 60001.610 Employee vs. Independent Contractor

In determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor under the common law rule, all evidence of control and independence must be considered. The facts fall into three main categories:

  • does the entity have the right to direct and control how the worker performs the specific task for which the worker is hired;

  • does the entity have the right to direct and control the business and financial aspects of the worker’s activities; and

  • the relationship of the parties. A written contract is a very important piece of evidence showing the type of relationship the parties intended to create. A written agreement describing the worker as an independent contractor is evidence of the parties’ intent. The substance of the relationship, not the label, governs the worker’s status. The facts and circumstances under which a worker performs services are determinative. The substance of the relationship, not the label, governs the worker’s status

If a State has a question concerning whether an individual is an employee, the State should direct its inquiry either to SSA or to IRS, which has authority to determine whether an individual is an employee for FICA tax purposes.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1960001610
SL 60001.610 - Employee vs. Independent Contractor - 05/01/2006
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:05/01/2006