TruckBy Jena Williams

How do you determine if a worker is an employee and therefore reportable to the state and afforded the rights and protections of an employee, or an independent contractor who is responsible for themselves?

This is one situation you don’t want to wing. Protect your company and your workers by making sure they are correctly categorized.*

Workers can be employees even if they supply some of their own tools of the trade such as small, personal hand tools.

If the worker supplies more than just knowledge and labor to the job – such as a truck – then the worker might be independent. Consider this:

Workers are independent if they:

  • Own the truck or the lease of the truck includes purchase.
  • Are responsible for the truck’s repairs, maintenance, fuel, tires, license, insurance and taxes.
  • May hire other drivers to operate the truck.
  • Take the truck even when they leave your company.
  • Can use the truck to deliver for any company.

If the bullets above don’t describe your workers then categorize them as workers.

One more note: Make sure your independents are reporting and paying taxes on their employees. If not, you may find yourself responsible for taxes owed on work done for your company.

*Details for this blog post are based on Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ A Guide to Hiring Independent Contractors in Washington State