Employee, independent contractor


Employment laws protect “employees” and impose duties on their “employers.” In the modern working world, however, “employee” and “employer” status is not always clear. The status of some workers and the firms they serve can be ambiguous, especially when the workers work as individuals not organized as firms. Individual workers might be “employees,” but they might also be self-employed individuals working as “independent contractors.” Even if it is clear that workers are someone’s “employees,” the identity of the employer can be unclear. If one firm pays “employees” to work mainly or exclusively for another firm that pays the first firm for the work, which firm is the “employer” of the employees?