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  • NYC labor law question

    For the past two years I've been working full time on-site at a Marketing firm in New York City as a contractor. No contract was actually ever signed. I do not get benefits or health insurance even though I work there 40-60 hours per week. They do not take taxes out, I just pay them quarterly on my own. They do not want to hire me as an actual employee but want to continue using me as a freelancer. I was just wondering if what this company is doing is legal. Should they legally have to pay for my heath insurance if I work for them 40 hours or more? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by FreelancerT; 04-20-2006, 10:51 AM.

  • #2
    It has nothing to do with how many hours you work. You are an independent contractor (1099), so the employer doesn't have to include you in on any of the benefits that the employer has for it's employees. You provide a service to that company and as a an independent contractor you are responsible for your own taxes, supplies and benefits.
    Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.

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    • #3
      This does beg the question, however, of do you really meet the criteria for being treated as an indpendent contractor?
      http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...=99921,00.html
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        But aren't there laws that forbid a company to have independent contractors working on-site for an extended period of time? My friend recently lost his long time freelance gig at a big corporation because they were violating state labor laws and getting heavily fined. He said that the state eventually cracked down on them and forced them to use Aquent to run the whole department the corporation was cheating people out of benefits and health insurance.

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        • #5
          But aren't there laws that forbid a company to have independent contractors working on-site for an extended period of time?

          No, there are not.

          You are thinking of, and misinterpreting, the Microsoft case and subsequent followups, in which contractors who DID NOT MEET the definition of contractors and should have been employees all along, were deliberately left at a status that did not qualify them for benefits, FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE of preventing them from getting benefits. No law says that after x amount of time, an IC has to be made an employee and granted benefits.

          If you actually meet the definition of an IC, you can be left at that status permanently with no benefits from the company and it will be entirely legal.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Consequences of treating an employee as an independent contractor

            If someone were "misclassified" and treated as an independent contractor when they should have been an employee, could that person take legal action against the company or is it just a matter of the IRS coming down on them? I remember hearing stories of freelance graphic designers who sued AT&T or Lucent and won. I believe they were actually compensated financially in some way. But this was years ago and I may not be remembering the whole story correctly.

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            • #7
              IF someone were misclassified (and we have not established that you are misclassified) then yes, legal action could be taken. Whether or not it would be worth while to do so would be situation specific and could only be established by an attorney in your state.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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