Gig Workers - Can They Become an Employees?

There are rare and special circumstances when a gig worker can become an employee with a valid changeover for the individual which usually involves an employment contract. However, gig workers are often negatively affected by misclassification that says they are employees when they are truly independent contractors instead.

The Sacrifice

Some gig workers may decide to sacrifice the gig economy projects and take on full-time employment with a company. This is not a rare occurrence, as many of these individuals at one point did work for a business or may do so again in the future. However, the sacrifice is less of one when the gig work dries up or this person is sick of seeking new clients constantly. If the freelancer was not able to secure constant work through a model or plan, he or she may return to the standard workforce.

The Employment Contract

Some gig workers either knowingly or accidentally accept an employment contract that classifies him or her as an employee of a company rather than an independent contractor. The terms and clauses in such agreements are often fine and difficult to understand without the help of a lawyer. However, the company may not even fully restrict the individual as other employees but still classify him or her as one because of how the work this person completes processes. The limits and boundaries in place can lead to a true employment classification.

The Slow Transition

There are many companies that hire independent contractors that work for the business but do not have employment status such as Uber or consultants. However, many of these individuals receive no protections or benefits because of the nonemployment status. In certain rare circumstances, these workers can become employees over time. Either there is a shift in the company, or other special circumstances become possible. A person under contract with an intermediary company could shift into a full-time employee and become one with policy changes or new rules affecting contractors. Then, these protections and benefits extend to these groups.
The Narrow Test

There are certain tests that employers can use to determine the true classification of the individual. These apply to provide a better understanding of how to classify the person and when he or she should become an employee rather than an independent contractor. The test can prove conclusively that the person is not a gig worker but an employee. Often this relationship changes as the work or project alters over time. After years, the gig worker may become a complete part of the company and have little freedom to complete job tasks or projects in the same way as the past. Then, the test can help the gig worker become a full employee with all benefits and safeguards.

The Role in the Company

Some gig workers are never employees, and some may change from a freelancer or independent contractor to an employee over time or with a contract. Others are always employees that are able to retain a more freelance-like situation. Some are consultants that receive a job offer and either accept or decline it. Each situation can vary and depend on the circumstances of the relationship between employee and company. The owner can even step in and alter relations regarding independent contractors and specific employees. The individual may need to decide what he or she wants to do based on different factors.

Contract Changes

Some gig workers can become an employee during contract changes such as renewals or renegotiating the legally binding agreement. These changes can put an end to the freelance-like work and place the person into the company full-time. However, the renegotiations or contract renewal could also shift an employee into a gig worker relationship as well. It is important to understand these details and how they affect the individual both in the company and legally. If the contract changes and the gig workers do not want to become an employee of the company, he or she may need to reconsider the situation carefully. It is important to contact a lawyer before making any permanent changes and reviewing the contract before signing it to seal the deal.

Legal Support for Gig Workers Becoming Employees

The individual will often need a business lawyer to review employment changes that can shift him or her into an employee before accomplishing the modification. The lawyer will ensure the best interests of the client are present and could prevent potentially harmful relationships and companies from taking advantage of the individual.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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