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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 29816
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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I want to know if, in the state of Ohio, can a city board

Customer Question

i want to know if, in the state of Ohio, can a city board of health hire a registered sanitarian as an independent contractor to avoid paying into a public retirement system (i.e. pers) or would they be required to hire as aregular employee, even though it is a part time position. thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
The test for an independent contractor versus an employee is control. A contractor has significant freedom. He's hired and paid by the job, typically has the ability to perform work away from the primary job site, uses his own tools, and has the ability to complete the job pretty much however he wants, as long as it's within established parameters.
An employee works when and where he's told. The employer tells him how to complete assigned tasks. An employee generally cannot decline specific work. He works on-site most of the time, uses the employer's equipment, and is usually paid hourly (or on a salaried basis).
The board cannot hire someone as an independent contractor when they are really an employee in disguise. It's not an easy as saying "We're going to call you a contractor." That's a violation of federal law. The person has to actually be an independent contractor. The more control the city has, the more likely the person is really an employee who has been misclassified.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i still dont know the answer. i am a registered sanitarian in the state of ohio inspecting restaurants for the board of health as required by law. they ruled i am a independent contractor and am not on the payroll. therefore, they do not have to contribute to the ohio mpublic employees retirement system. i would like to appeal the decision of OPERS but dont know if i have a chance
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The answer to this question ALWAYS comes down to the specific facts of your case. Read the descriptions - which one is more how you work? That's the answer.
If the city has control over you and how you work, if you only work for them, they set your hours and pay you an hourly or weekly rate, you're an employee and they can't call you an independent contractor just to avoid paying you benefits.