As a 1099 worker, am I entitled to a 10 minute break?

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As a 1099 worker, am I entitled to a 10 minute break?

I was working as a 1099 employee. Working as a brand ambassador at a home show in Washington state. I’ve worked for this company for almost 7 months. I was told in the beginning that I was allowed a 20 minute break. However, I was let go because I took a 10 minute break and bought an item at the show. Am I allowed to take a 10-20 minute break if I’m a 1099 employee and I was working a 6 hour day that day?

Asked on April 15, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are *truly* an independent contractor (that's the correct term--there is no such as a "1099 worker") then you are not owed a break: the labor laws, such as those providing for breaks for hourly staff, only apply to employees (what you might call "W2 workers"). 
The issue is: are you truly an independent contractor? If the employer set your hours, told you how to do your job, could direct you in what to do, when, you may be an actual employee, not an independent contractor. Go to the U.S.  Dept. of Labor website and look under "independent contractor"; see if you do qualify as an independent contractor or should be considered a contractor. If you should be an employee, it may be they had to pay the employer share of withholding for you; contribute to unemployment for you; possibly offer you benefits; possibly offer you break time (and not fired you for taking one). If you believe it may that you were an employee, contact your state department of labor then about filing a complaint. 
If you do appear, under the criteria, to be an independent contractor,  they did not owe you a break and could terminate you for taking one.


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