If you are an employer, you have to define the role that each person plays in your organization. Part of this definition is determining whether those on your payroll are defined an employees or independent contractors. There are several differences between the two as outlined below.
The most important difference is the right of control. If you control the way that a job is done, or if you provide the tools that are used to complete the job, then the worker is considered an employee. If you have no control over the way that a job is done except for the results of the job, and the worker uses his own tools or materials, then the worker is considered an independent contractor.
Another factor that determines the designation of the worker is the way that the worker is paid. If the worker were paid per job that he does for you instead of by the hour or if he is paid per project without guarantee of future work, he would be classified as an independent contractor.
The designation of the worker is also dependent your responsibility over the worker’s actions. If you will be responsible legally for the negligence of the worker, then that person is an employee. An employer has no legal responsibility over the negligent actions of an independent contractor. This is a very important distinguishing factor.
As an employer, it is important that you make it very clear to all of your workers what their role is. Once you have defined those roles, it is important that you designate duties and responsibilities according to those roles. If not, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit. If you have questions regarding the differences between an employee and an independent contractor, a qualified and knowledgeable Illinois employment attorney can provide you with those answers.