If I am classified as a salon subcontractor, should I have to do owners jobs as well

I am working as a subcontractor in cosmetology and will be getting 1099 at the end of the tax year. This, as I understand, means I am self-employed, and being contracted to perform my work for her business. Should I be expected to come in half an hour early to open the shop every morning, take care of her front desk answering and returning messages all day, and clean up her tools and stations after every one of her clients? Doesn’t this mean I am her employee and I should be making an hourly wage and she needs to be giving me a W2? As of now I only make commission, and do not make up to minimum wage at the end of the pay week. I guess I’m really asking if this is fair or even legal.

Asked on September 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, it appears that you may be an employee, not a subcontractor, as you suspect. If you are working hours or at times set by the employer and she manages you to the extent of giving you a number of different discrete tasks and chores to do--tasks and chores unrelated to the core function for which you are allegedly a contractor--you seem to lack the necessary "independence" which is the hallmark of an independent contractor. Someone who functions as an employee is an employee, regardless of what the employer wants to call him  or her. You may be entitled to wages and/or benefits as an employee; it would be worth your while to contact the state department of labor to possible file a misclassification (i.e. incorrectly classified and paid as a contractor, when you are an employee) complaint.

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