After My Boss Hired Me, He Sent Me a 1099 And Told Me I Was An Independent Contractor โ€“ Is That Legal?

worker-classificationThe answer is, probably not. Massachusetts law defines when an employee can be paid as an independent contractor, and when he or she must be paid as an employee. See G.L. c. 149 ยง148B. If you work under the direct supervision and control of your boss, in the same line of business that your boss performs, you are likely required to be paid as an employee.

For example, if you were hired as a plumber, go where and when your boss tells you to go, and your boss is a plumber, then you are likely an employee and not an independent contractor. In that case, your boss cannot pay you as an independent contractor. If he does, he is likely in violation of Massachusetts law.

When an employer wrongfully pays an employee as an independent contractor, it is called employee misclassification, and it can entitle the wronged employee to significant damages. Often times, an employee can recover two or three times his damages and attorneys fees. If you feel you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you should contact me immediately. If you are an employer and have questions about employee classification, you should contact me to ensure you are in compliance and avoid a costly mistake.