Search Site
Menu
21 Main St, Ste 352 | Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Call For Consultation 551-245-8894

What Is an “Employee” in Employee Discrimination Cases?

Whether a person is an “employee” is a frequent threshold issue in both state and federal employment discrimination and harassment cases. As the use of independent contractors becomes more prevalent in our economy, this question has become more common — and more difficult to answer.

While the law is clear that employment discrimination laws do not extend to independent contractors, partners and other nonemployees, the line between employee and independent contractor is often blurred. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which administers federal employment discrimination laws, uses a multi-factor test for drawing the distinction:

  • Does the employer control when, where and how the worker does the job?
  • Does the work require a high level of expertise?
  • Does the employer provide tools and other equipment?
  • Is the work done on the employer’s premises?
  • Is there a consistent relationship between the employer and worker?
  • Can the employer assign the worker additional work?
  • Does the employer set the schedule for work?
  • Is payment for time or by piece rate?
  • Does the worker hire his/her own assistants?
  • Is the worker performing work that is part of the employer’s regular business?
  • Is the employer a business?
  • Does the worker maintain his/her own distinct business?
  • Does the employer provide benefits?
  • Does the employer consider the worker an employee for tax purposes?
  • Does the employer have the right to dismiss the worker?
  • What type of relationship did the employer and worker think they had?

With so many factors to consider, it is easy to see that it is a highly subjective determination. However, it is important to note that just because the company you work for says you are an independent contractor does not necessarily mean a court or other administrative body would agree. A New Jersey employment law attorney can help you consider these factors and determine your actual legal status.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Retired

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

Diane  Englander  Peyser Attorney Photo
Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey
Attorney

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
Reviews and Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I am extremely satisfied with my experience with Duetsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt law firm. Diane Peyser was always attentive with any questions or concerns I had during my case. I always felt like I was her number one priority when I needed her during t...

    Read more

    megan verrico

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I am grateful to Bruce and his firm for his professionalism and guidance. His experience and calm demeanor really helped me through a tough case. He settled it very quickly which allowed me to put it behind me and move on. I highly recommend Bruce.

    Read more

    T Cates

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Having been a litigation attorney myself, I've seen it all from the "inside". I know that far too many lawyers care only about profit and have very little interest in the actual law or their clients. So I was very careful in selecting an attorney t...

    Read more

    D A

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Kleinfeldt and the law firm were simply excellent in their service. They were easy to reach, attentive, professional, prompt, and hospitable. I felt they were truly in my corner. My matter was resolved expeditiously and to my satisfaction. It...

    Read more

    Mike Baycora

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Thrilled with our experience with the firm. It was a challenging case for sure, and Adam worked tirelessly to ensure we came out on top. His knowledge of the law and the "system" is first rate. I was prepared to walk away on a few occasions when t...

    Read more

    Alex Cauchon

See all reviews
Contact us

Quick Contact Form