Labor Standards

Is a Worker an "Employee" or an "Independent Contractor"?

Employers are required to correctly classify each worker as either an "employee" or an "independent contractor" for the purposes of the employer's obligations under the wage and hour laws.

The wage and hour laws contain definitions of "employee" to separate those individuals (employees) who have protections under the wage and hour laws from those individuals (independent contractors) who do not. These definitions of "employee" do not determine which individuals should or should not be paid under prevailing wage laws, Secs. 66.0903 and 103.49, Wis. Stats.

The statutes enforced by the Labor Standards Bureau contain three definitions of employee:

The Labor Standards Bureau presumes that a worker is an employee unless the worker meets one of the exceptions listed in sections 104.01 (2) (b) and 109.01 (1r) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Note: The Labor Standards Bureau also follows interpretations of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in this regard.

See U.S. Department of Labor Guidance - Wage and Hour Division.

Steps to Classify a Worker

If you are an employer or a worker and want to determine how to properly classify a worker as either an employee or an independent contractor for wage and hour laws continue to the worker classification tests to begin the process:

Begin the Process

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