Avoiding the Independent Contractor Trap
Small companies usually need to conserve cash, so they often turn to independent contractors rather than employees. This makes perfect sense – unless the company falls into what I call the independent contractor trap.
If there is not enough work to justify a regular employee, the company can use an independent contractor when needed. That way the company avoids making unemployment and social security contributions. Also, it does not pay benefits such as health and life insurance, retirement plan contributions and personal time off.
There can be problems, however. If the individual really is doing the work of an employee – is misclassified – the Internal Revenue Service or, in California, the Employment Development Department might reclassify the individual as an employee, erasing the presumed financial benefits.