Given the growth of the “gig economy” in recent years, a growing number of companies are relying less on employees and more on independent contractors. While hiring independent contractors affords companies and individuals greater flexibility, it also opens the door to potential abuses by employers.
Employees Versus Independent Contractors
Historically, most companies hired employees to perform all the necessary tasks related to the business. However, hiring an employee is expensive for a company because it must pay payroll taxes and often feels competitive pressure to provide employees with certain benefits, such as health and dental insurance. Moreover, employees are entitled to receive a minimum wage, and certain employees must be paid overtime wages. Employees are also covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Independent contractors, on the other hand, are much less expensive for businesses to use. For example, a business can use independent contractors only when needed without worrying about paying for their benefits. While the use of independent contractors used to only be common in certain industries, that’s changed in recent years.