Employee vs Contractor

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Employee vs Contractor

Hello, I will be hiring and training several new tour guides for my small tour company and I need some help determining whether to hire them as employees or if I will have to keep them as contractors. Is it possible to hire and schedule them full-time for just the summer season (i.e. a fixed duration of 4-5 months with an end date and pay them on a per-tour basis as contractors? Or will I need to hire them as employees instead?

Asked on April 19, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You don't have 100% free choice in whether the people who work for you are employees or independent contractors. If they--and how they work for you; the degree of control you have over them, their hours, their location[s] of work, and how they do their jobs, etc.--meet the legal criteria to be considered employees, you MUST hire and pay them as employees. If they don't meet those criteria, then you can chose whether to hire them as employees or independent contractors (and in that even, probably want to hire them as independent contractors, to avoid having to withhold, pay assessments for unemployment, potentally have to pay overtime and provide worker's compensation, etc.). 
The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) has information on its website about when someone will be considered an employee or not. Look up that information and compare it to how the people you contemplate hiring will work and be managed by you. If they meet the criteria to be considered employees, that's how you have to hire and pay them.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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