Little Lamb Company needs an additional programmer for a special project. The company enters into a contract with Mary to complete this project. Just as the project is nearing completion, initially an independent contractor as she had a high degree of control over how the work is accomplished, and enters into a contract with the company a new need arises for her services. She is asked to continue with the company to complete the new project. While completing the new project, the supervisor begins working more closely with Mary and requires her to use company materials and equipment while adhering to company work schedules. Mary seems to be moving toward an "at-will" employee position, because she appears to have less control over how the work is accomplished as she will probably have to answer to the supervisor, and using the companies materials and equipment and adhering to the company work schedules.
After two years suggests "at-will" employee because of the length of time being 2 years, economic conditions force the company to make budget cuts. Mary is asked to leave as an employee, as she is obviously no longer working as an independent contractor, when asked to leave the company. Thirty days later, a major contract is acquired by the company, which reinstates the need for Mary's services as a programmer. However, the supervisor chooses to hire his equally-qualified cousin and not offer Mary the opportunity to return. The use of word "hire" implied that Mary had been an employee and not an independent contractor.
Is Mary an independent contractor or an employee? Describe the factors that led to your determination.
There are several criteria to determine if Mary is a contractor or an employee. For example, one critical aspect to distinguish an independent contractor from an employee...