Washington Independent Contractors laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington 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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Under Washington's workers' compensation law, a covered employee includes every person who is engaged in the employment of an employer covered by the law including individuals working under an independent contract (WA Rev. Code Sec. 51.08.180). An individual is not a covered employee if it can be shown that all of the following apply:
• The individual is free from control or direction over the performance of the service, both under the contract of service and in fact;
• The service is either outside the usual course of business of the organization for which the service is performed, the service is performed outside all of the places of business of that organization, or the individual is responsible, both under the contract and in fact, for the costs of the principal place of business from which the service is performed;
• The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the contract of service, or the individual has a principal place of business for the business the individual is conducting that is eligible for a business deduction for federal income tax purposes;
• On the effective date of the contract of service, the ...

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