Q & A – Can I change a worker’s status from employee to independent contractor?

Q: Can I change a worker’s status from employee to independent contractor?

A: Generally, independent contractors should not replace employees or perform work that employees perform for the company.  A common scenario where this is done improperly is where an employee is exiting the organization, but is still needed on a part-time basis to “consult.”  Organizations may make the mistake of classifying the former employee as an independent contractor during this consulting period.  The former employee, however, is likely doing the same work that he or she performed as an employee and has the same kind of relationship with the employer.  Where that is the case, the worker is better classified as a temporary employee.