If a person is receiving a paycheck from a company and that company is taking taxes out, are they considered employees of that company?

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If a person is receiving a paycheck from a company and that company is taking taxes out, are they considered employees of that company?

I friend of mine is working for a company that is going through bankruptcy. Their partner company is paying her but they say she is not an “official” employee because they never gave her a letter of employment. Is this true?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no law whatsoever saying that someone must be a letter of employment to be an employee; this is irrelevant.

Anyone who does work for another is either an independent contractor or an employee. They are generally considered an employee (and entitled to benefits, overtime if applicable, etc.) unless they meet the test or criteria to be an independent contractor. You can find those criteria on the Dept. of Labor (DOL) website. In brief, an independent contractor is at least somewhat "independent": she sets her own hours for the most part, determines how she does the job, provides her own tools or equipment, advertises or markets for clients, and usually has more  than one client. If someone only works for one company, has to work the shifts or hours the company says, and is told by the company how to do her job, she's probably an employee.


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