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!

{ 16 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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sites like craigslist July 24, 2019 at 9:10 am

I’ve recently remarked on these pages about the seemingly boundless propensity of some on that side of the pond to throw commas around like confetti; and the injurious effect this can have on diction.

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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

BarcelonaShortStay August 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

I just bought tickets for an August Lamplighters performance of Pinafore. (We’ve seen The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance in previous years.) There were discounts for kids, students, and seniors, as you’d expect, but also a substantial one for adults under 35. I presume they’ve looked at the demographics and want to develop a younger audience to replace their current, rapidly aging one.

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Reply

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I just bought tickets for an August Lamplighters performance of Pinafore. (We’ve seen The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance in previous years.) There were discounts for kids, students, and seniors, as you’d expect, but also a substantial one for adults under 35. I presume they’ve looked at the demographics and want to develop a younger audience to replace their current, rapidly aging one.
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lisa August 29, 2019 at 6:37 pm

I just bought tickets for an August Lamplighters performance of Pinafore. (We’ve seen The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance in previous years.) There were discounts for kids, students, and seniors, as you’d expect, but also a substantial one for adults under 35. I presume they’ve looked at the demographics and want to develop a younger audience to replace their current, rapidly aging one.
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