Can employers change you from full time employment to contractor pay without giving you advance notice in NC

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can employers change you from full time employment to contractor pay without giving you advance notice in NC

I was hired for full time employment and worked 5 days and was
fired. They did not fill out any type of tax papers when I was
hired. They also had my name wrong. When I collected my check
they told me it was for contractor. Is this legal

Asked on January 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can do it *going forward* or for work not yet done without notice, since employment is "employment at will" in this country unless you had an employment contract guarantying you the terms of your job. Otherwise, when you show up for work Monday morning, for example, they could say, "You are a contractor starting immediately; congratulations" and your only recourse would be to quit if you don't want to work that way. 
BUT any work done prior to the announcement, etc of a change in your status must be paid as per your pre-announcement status. So if, for example, you worked Jan. 22 - 26 as an employee and they made you a contractor January 29, you would still be paid for the 22nd - 26th as an employee (including with withholding).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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