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Independent Contractor

Economics And Social Policy

Although not protected by law to the extent of an employee, an independent contractor has far greater control over elements such as work hours and work methods. Unlike most employees, an independent contractor may opt to work at night or on weekends, leaving weekdays free. An independent contractor may choose to wear blue jeans or a business suit, take one week of vacation or 30 weeks, or interrupt work to attend a child's school play or to go to the beach. Moreover, although the other contracting party retains control over the finished work product, an independent contractor has exclusive control over the actual work process. Decisions such as whether to work for one person or several, whether to work a little or a lot, whether to accept or reject an undesirable work project, and how much money to charge are made by the independent contractor.

The other party, in turn, enjoys mainly profit-related advantages by hiring an independent contractor instead of an employee. For one thing, an employer need not provide an independent contractor with vacation time, PENSION, insurance, or other costly benefits. Management costs that ordinarily go toward training and overseeing large numbers of employees decrease when independent contractors do the work. Some say that because independent contractors benefit directly from their hard work, the quality of their work may be higher than it is for full-time employees who might be less motivated. And by hiring independent contractors, an employer enjoys the greater ease and flexibility to expand and contract the workforce as demand rises and falls.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Hypoxia to Indirect evidenceIndependent Contractor - Taxes, Labor Relations, Economics And Social Policy, Tort Liability, Defining The Independent Contractor