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Employee or Contractor? Here’s How to Make Sure Your Classification is Correct

Here are the worker’s classification tests that Missouri uses and how to determine if your status is correct.

Have you been classified as an independent contractor by your employer? How can you be certain that this classification is correct? 

One report found that between 10-15% of employers misclassify at least one worker as an independent contractor. That is very important because the law favors employees over independent contractors. So, in case you get injured while doing your job, you may have a more difficult time filing a workers compensation claim if you are classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee

Here are the worker’s classification tests that Missouri uses and how to determine if your status is correct. 

missouri worker shaking hands

Workers Classification in Missouri

Missouri uses the common law standard, a 20-factor test based on the IRS model to determine worker classification. It further breaks down the test into three main categories: financial control, the type of relationship to the parties, and behavioral control.  

Let’s examine them in detail. 

  • Financial Control: Financial control means that the employer has control over their workers’ finances. For example, your employer provides the tools and equipment you need to perform your job, reimburses your expenses, and so on. 
  • Behavioral Control: Behavioral control means that the employer decides how the employees perform their job. This can mean that the employer decides how the work is done, when, and where. Keep in mind that just because an employee is very skilled and doesn’t require much supervision, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any behavioral control. 
  • The Type of Relationship to the Parties: This factor shows how the employer and employee cooperate. Do you have a written contract? Are you receiving benefits like sick days, paid leave, or vacation? How long is the contract for? All these can tell you if you are appropriately classified as an employee or independent contractor. 

How Can I Determine My Classification?

Pay attention to the following factors: 

  • Direction and Control: How much does your employer have to say about the way you do your job? Generally, independent contractors provide a service without the direction of the person who hired them. 
  • Are you paid for the job, or do you receive a wage? This is often one of the best indications regarding your classification. 
  • Does your employer provide the equipment? If that’s the case, then you are most likely an employee. 

What to Do If You Are Injured, and You’re Not Sure About Your Classification

Employers are generally not required by law to purchase insurance for independent contractors. However, as we’ve seen, some employers misclassify their employees to avoid paying payroll taxes and workers comp premiums. If you are unsure about your status or you think you’ve been misclassified as an independent contractor, your best option is to speak with an experienced Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you understand your true classification and what benefits you may be entitled to.

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