Independent contractors who are not traditionally eligible for Unemployment Insurance may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the federal CARES Act. See the CARES Act page and the PUA eligibility page for more information.
Even if your employer hired you to work as an independent contractor, the law may still consider you an employee. This means you may qualify for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.
We consider whether there is an employer-employee relationship based on several things. These include how much supervision, direction and control your employer has over your work.
The way you are paid is a sign of worker status. Employees usually earn:
Employees also may get certain fringe benefits. For example: an allowance or repayment for business or travel expenses.
The nature of the work done also helps decide if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
Unskilled or casual workers are often employees because they work under supervision. However, even professionals such as doctors and lawyers (with much freedom to do their work) may be employees if they are subject to significant control.
Workers may be employees if the employer controls key parts of the work done, other than results and means.
For example, a referral agency usually does not directly supervise the people it refers for jobs. But, it could be their employer, if it controls:
Independent contractors perform their duties free from:
They are in business for themselves, as they offer their services to the public.
Signs of independent contractor status include a person who:
For example, if your employer gives you a 1099 form rather than a W-2 form, you may still be an employee. You may be an employee under the law, even if:
Under Unemployment Insurance Law, an agreement by employees to waive their rights under the law is not valid.
The statute excludes or covers certain types of services, regardless of the degree of direction and control.
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