Can You Switch a Full-Time Worker Into a Contractor?

by Evil HR Lady on July 3, 2019

We have a longtime employee who asked to work from home after having twins. She’s been working from home for a year now successfully. She just got a new boss, and he wants her either in the office full time or to change her status to a contractor. Can we do this? How much do we pay her as a contractor? She currently makes $100,000 a year.

To read my answer, click here: Can You Switch a Full-Time Worker Into a Contractor?

Leave your own in the comments!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West July 3, 2019 at 3:43 pm

The letter says she’s been working from home successfully for a year. Seems like it’s the manager who is the problem. 😛

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BethG July 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Expensive, time-consuming, really bad for morale, and an invitation to a discrimination suit….

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jdgalt July 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

As a tax professional, you got most of it right, but some of the differences between a contractor and an employee are still being scrutinized by courts. “The job cannot be one of the employer’s core business functions” is a new notion and may be overturned; and “there has to be an end date” is not true.

But in general, changing from an employee to a contractor for the same employer is a big red flag and will likely get you audited and be overturned, unless the whole economic picture around that job changes. If the employer would rather have a contractor they are better advised to lay off the employee (if this can be done without violating discrimination law around childbirth, which is questionable) and hire someone else to be the contractor.

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grannybunny July 3, 2019 at 7:40 pm

I’d consider making the new — manage by “butt-in-seat” — manager a contractor! 🙂

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Bend & Snap July 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

As a remote worker, I would quit if my employer suddenly required me to be in the office all the time.

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Tmt Aba July 9, 2019 at 1:51 pm

An absolutely super suggestion. Find the cause of the problem, changing the role of the employee is not the solutions every time.

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new book July 25, 2019 at 3:48 pm

As a tax professional, you got most of it right, but some of the differences between a contractor and an employee are still being scrutinized by courts. “The job cannot be one of the employer’s core business functions” is a new notion and may be overturned; and “there has to be an end date” is not true.

But in general, changing from an employee to a contractor for the same employer is a big red flag and will likely get you audited and be overturned, unless the whole economic picture around that job changes. If the employer would rather have a contractor they are better advised to lay off the employee (if this can be done without violating discrimination law around childbirth, which is questionable) and hire someone else to be the contractor.

Reply

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