What are your goals?
Do you want to develop a process for each position to control those processes and results? Or, would you rather allow each person to manage their process as long as a result is the same for each position?
The IRS defines the Independent Contractor and the employee as this…
Employee (EE)–You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed. Your earnings as an employee may be subject to FICA (Social Security tax and Medicare) and income tax withholding.
Independent Contractor (IC)–The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax.
You may decide that you’d like both. That’s fine; however, at times, morale can be affected when ICs aren’t included in EE staff meetings, training, celebrations, and the like. Also, if roles are not clear to you and the entire staff, you may be asking for trouble. You don’t want that. Patients can pick up on discourse, very quickly.
Communication is key. Set expectations at the beginning. For ICs, your expectations should be discussed verbally and outlined in the form of a contract. Be sure to include pay expectations and length of the contract.
It’s also a good idea to go over expectations with EEs.
Everyone needs to know what their duties, shared duties, and expectations are. You can outline the information in an EE document and have them sign and date.
You can refer back to the document for reference if there are any questions or issues down the road. Make sure that you update at least yearly or when the EEs duties change.
You should know that there is a fine line between EE and IC expectations. Remember when I talked about morale being affected by ICs being left out of celebrations, training, and the like?
That’s part of the fine line. ICs cannot be included in EE benefits or they are no longer ICs, they are EEs. You may want to get assistance from your attorney to draw the contracts and go over the expectations and process for both ICs and EEs.
You can help identify roles with these tips and characteristics outlined in by the IRS.
For more information on employees vs. independent contractors, visit the IRS website.
DISCLAIMER: This information not intended or offered as legal or professional advice. These materials are for educational and information purposes only. If you have questions about the status of your staff, consult with your legal adviser or CPA.
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