Do I have to pay overtime and per diem for independent contractors?

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Do I have to pay overtime and per diem for independent contractors?

We traveled by car out of state to do a job using company vehicle. I paid the independent contractor per diem and overtime did I have to pay any of that by law?

Asked on May 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, unless you had a contract stating otherwise, you didn't have to pay per diem, as that is never legally mandated either for independent contractors or employees. Secondly, overtime is only legally required to be paid to "employees", not independent contractors. Accordingly, unless there was a contract providing overtime wgaes to be paid to these contractors, it was not necessary.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, if they were independent contractors (and truly were independent contractors, not merely employees you mislabled or mischaracterized as contractors; i.e. they meet the criteria, found on the U.S. Department of Labor website, to be considered independent contractors) you would not need to pay them overtime unless you had a contract with them requiring overtime.
You *never* need to pay a per diem--including to employees--unless there is a contract requiring it.


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