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There's not a definite answer one way or the other. Rather, if you treat them like employees, they're probably employees. That's the BEST answer and the best way to treat them.
The determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is based on common law rules. The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 20-Factor Test is still used as an analytical tool; however, the IRS’ 1996 guidelines direct its agents to focus on the overall situation rather than to emphasize one or two of the 20 factors. The legal test is whether the person receiving the services has the right to direct and control the means and details of the work.
The Fair Labor Standards Act also uses a similar test. Common law rules examine the relationship of the worker and the business, taking into consideration all evidence of control and independence. An employer generally controls an employee’s work performance, but independent contractors determine for themselves how they will perform their work.
Typically, independent contractors:
- Act as their own boss by setting their own work schedule.
- Furnish their own tools and equipment.
- Are compensated on production, not on time spent in the office.
- Receive no employer benefits.
- Enter into a contract requiring both parties to terminate the agreement when the relationship dissolves.
- Are obligated to reimburse the practice owner for any losses (e.g., retreatment cases) and damages (e.g., property, equipment and instruments).
- Pay their own lab bills and some overhead expenses.
- Pay for their own professional liability insurance.
- Make their own estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis.
If they're not independent contractors, they're employees, and it's best to pay them as such.
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