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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27261
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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My husband works as an independent contractor company

Customer Question

My husband works as an independent contractor for a company called World Courier ground. He had surgery last week and had to be out of work for the entire week per doctor's orders. We returned to the doctor on Friday where he extended his days out of work through Monday (today). My husband's "boss" called him yesterday saying that he ended his contract because he couldn't depend on him despite our documentation from the doctor. The contract between us also states that we must receive a 1 day's WRITTEN notice to end the contract and we did not receive that. Also, my husband returned the uniforms this morning and he sent another employee out to get the uniforms..and still did not provide a written notice.
JA: Got it. The Employment Lawyer will know how to help you. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Employment Lawyer should know?
Customer: He was very unprofessional in handling this. He continued hanging up in my husband's face and when I called him he told me he couldn't talk to me about matters with my husband. But, this is a lie because I have spoken with him several times and even submitted all the paper work for my husband. I have emails to show this.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm very sorry to hear that this happened. Independent contractors are considered self-employed and therefore aren't covered by FMLA and other employee protection laws. That unfortunately means it is legal for your boss's employer to terminate him for missing work, even if he had a medical reason. They ARE still required to provide the one day's written notice required in the contract, and since they didn't, your husband could sue in Small Claims court for the one day's earnings he would have gotten if they provided adequate notice. He also can request a refund of the filing fees. Usually, these cases can be brought in Small Claims Court, which does not require a lawyer. The courts have forms your husband can file when he's feeling better to open the case. Essentially, an independent contractor is engaged in his own business. An employee "follows the usual path of an employee and is dependent on the business which he/she serves." 29 C.F.R. § 825.105(a). BUT, if your husband ONLY works for one company, look at whether he's been correctly classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee. A contractor works his own hours, typically uses his own equipment, and generally has autonomy to decide what jobs to take and how to complete them (within set parameters). A contractor who does deliveries might drive his own car. An employee is told when, where, and how to work. The employer provides the equipment used, assigns jobs, and gets to explain how they're done. An employee might use his own car, but could also drive a vehicle provided by the employer. If your husband is really an employee, then he may have additional rights (including the ability to seek reimbursement of social security taxes he's been paying on the company's behalf). Here is more information that might help: If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He definitely drives his own van, furnishes his own gas, and uses his own equipment. He is still considered an independent contractor and does not have taxes taken out of his earnings.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Taxes isn't part of the test. A lot of employers classify works as contractors solely because they don't want to pay for taxes and do withholding. Look at whether he has the ability to accept or reject work, if he's paid by the hour or per job, if they're allowed to tell him how he has to do the deliveries, and things like that. How much control does the employer have over him? Is he also allowed to work for other companies? Does he have a set schedule? That's what the IRS would be looking at if he filed a complaint.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Yes he has a set schedule. He is told when to deliver and has a certain time to make these deliveries.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Then the employer may be classifying him incorrectly. You may want to file a form WW-8 with the IRS, because your husband could get a refund on taxes he's been overpaying for the past few years. Another option is for him to reach out the employer and see if they can arrange a settlement where he receives a fair severance package in exchange for not pursuing this issue and for not suing for the lack of notice.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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