Oklahoma Independent Contractors laws & compensation compliance analysis

Oklahoma Independent Contractors: What you need to know

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.
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that an independent contractor is an individual who engages to perform certain service for another, according to his own manner and method, free from control and direction of his employer in all matters connected with the performance of the service, except as to the result or product of the work. The line of demarcation between an independent contractor and an employee is not clearly drawn, but must be determined based on the facts peculiar to each case (Page v. Hardy, 334 P.2d 782 (1959)). The various elements to be considered are:
• Whether the contract between the parties is written or oral;
• The degree of control which, by the agreement, the employer may exercise on the details of the work or the independence enjoyed by the contractor or agent;
• Whether or not the one employed is engaged in a distinct occupation or business and whether he or she carries on the occupation or business for others;
• Whether the work in question is usually done under the direction of the employer or by a specialist without supervision;
• The skill required in the particular occupation;
• Whether the employer or the worker supplies the materials, tools, and the place of work for performing the work;
• The ...

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