Independent contractors

Find out who can be classified as an independent contractor.

In Massachusetts, most people who work or provide services are considered employees under the law. This means that they have rights to minimum wage, overtime, and other protections.

Employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors may face criminal enforcement or civil penalties. You may file a wage complaint with the Attorney General’s Office if you believe that a worker is wrongly classified as independent contractors.

The three-part test

An employer who wants to treat someone as an independent contractor rather than an employee has to show that the work:

  1. is done without the direction and control of the employer; and
  2. is performed outside the usual course of the employer's business; and
  3. is done by someone who has their own, independent business or trade doing that kind of work.

The Attorney General's Office has issued an advisory that explains the purposes of the law and how the Attorney General’s Office understands and enforces the law.

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