Whether a worker is an “employee” or an “independent contractor” is critical when it comes to such important issues as pension eligibility, workers’ compensation coverage, wage and hour law, and many other matters. In some situations, federal law will govern, but the question is most often resolved by looking to state law, particularly in areas such as unemployment tax liability, workers’ compensation, and state wage and hour requirements.
Alabama uses a reserved right of control test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. This is a common-law right to control test. If there is no evidence that the employer reserved no control, except an inference from the circumstances, the question is one for the judge or jury to decide. The test for determining whether a person is an agent or employee of another, rather than an independent contractor with that other person, is whether that other person has reserved the right of control over the means and method by which the person’s work will be performed, whether or not the right of control is actually exercised.
If you have any questions or concerns about this issue or other issues on the law, please call the Nomberg Law Firm at 205-930-6900.