Do I qualify for benefits while working remotely?

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Do I qualify for benefits while working remotely?

I was an administrator in a small business but my family relocated to another state. However, my employer and I agreed to keep me on as an employee, so I’m now working remotely. While my salary changed to reflect my new position, I was to keep all my previous benefits – health insurance, salary (opposed to hourly), etc. We have recently been told that I have to lose all of my benefits and will no longer be an employee but a contractor. We didn’t think this was the case as I am still responsible for similar tasks as when I was in the office excepting things required by my physical presence to complete.

Is this true? Do I have to forfeit my benefits/salary and go to a contracted/hourly wage? What is the technical difference?

Asked on February 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There are two different issues here.
1) Are you still an employee or are you a contractor? If your employer can still set your hours and manage exactly how you do your job, then you would most likely stlll be an employee even when working remotely. The key is the degree of control they retain: if they can require you to work certain hours and "micromanage" how you do things, you're an employee. If they simply send you work or projects and you do it when or how you want and send them back the finished "work product" (so to speak) without moderately close oversight by them, you could be considered a contractor.
2) Even if you are an employee, can they take your benefits and change you to hourly? Yes, they can do this unless you have a written contract guarantying your pay and benefits. Without a contract, pay and benefits are under an employer's sole control: they could change how you are paid or how much, and they can have different, or no, benefits for remote employees vs. on-site employees.


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