Defining the Term Independent Contractor
It’s important for independent contractors to have a fundamental knowledge of their legal rights to prevent being taken advantage of or deceived. Unlike employees who can receive severance pay if they are wrongfully terminated, independent contractors are bound by the terms stated in their contract.
While being an independent contractor has advantages such as fewer payroll deductions, there are also disadvantages such as not having access to employee benefits, health insurance, and paid holidays.
What is an Independent Contractor?
If you’re unsure whether you’re categorized as an independent contractor, there are some distinct characteristics that define this classification:
- You provide or pay for all the tools and equipment needed for your job
- You face the possibility of not getting paid or earning a profit for the work you do
- You have control over your schedule and determine when to begin and end a task
- You can delegate or hire other individuals to complete the job
However, despite these distinctions, some employers still misclassify their workers as independent contractors, such as couriers, drivers, and salespeople.
Know your Rights
Employees in Ontario are entitled to minimum standards outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000, which includes minimum wage, termination notice, vacation and holiday pay, overtime pay, and other significant benefits.
If you have been working under an independent contractor agreement and have not received benefits such as vacation or statutory holiday pay, you should question whether you are genuinely an independent contractor. If you are deemed an employee, you may be owed back pay for all the benefits that were previously withheld.
Misclassification as an independent contractor deprives employees of their legal entitlements, making it crucial to understand the definition of an independent contractor.
When to Seek Help from an Independent Contractor Lawyer
If you suspect that you have been misclassified as an independent contractor and are being treated as an employee or not receiving entitled benefits, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an employment lawyer. Roberts & Obradovic Law has a wealth of experience in handling misclassification cases, and their team of employment lawyers can help ensure that you receive all the benefits owed to you. To get in touch with us, simply give us a call at (647) 724-5179 or fill out our contact form.