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Massachusetts Law About Independent Contractors

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.149, s.148B. Classification standard for independent contractors in Mass.

Federal Laws

Internal Revenue Service Revenue Ruling 87-41. Establishes the federal "twenty point test."

Selected Case Law

Awuah v. Coverall North America, Inc., US Dist. Court, Dist. MA 07-10287-WGY (2010). Discusses application of independent contractor law to franchisors and franchisees.

Somers v. Converged Access, Inc., 454 Mass. 582 (2009). The measure of damages is not "measured by subtracting the compensation the plaintiff obtained as an independent contractor from the compensation the plaintiff would have received had he been hired as an employee. We conclude that this measure of damages contravenes both the plain meaning and the primary purpose of the independent contractor statute and the wage act. An employee misclassified as an independent contractor, as a matter of law, is an employee; his contract rate is his wage rate; and his "damages incurred" equal the value of wages and benefits he should have received as an employee, but did not."

Other Web Sources

Advisory on the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law, Mass. Attorney General Advisory 2008/1. Covers history of the law, the three-prong test, what constitutes violation of the law, and enforcement guidelines.

Consultant and Independent Contractor Agreements, Nolo, 2011. Book of forms for independent contractors in various fields. Requires Library Card for access.

Effect of New Employee Classification Requirements under G.L. c. 149, ยง 148B on Withholding of Tax on Wages under G.L. c. 62B, TIR 05-11, Mass. Dept. of Revenue. "This TIR summarizes the differences in the general rules for determining employee/independent contractor status under chapters 149 and 62B. Second, this TIR announces that the Commissioner will accept determinations of employee or independent contractor status, as described in this TIR, by the Internal Revenue Service for purposes of identifying income tax withholding obligations under chapter 62B."

Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Nolo, 2011. Includes information on Insuring your business, self-employment tax, copyrights, client agreements, licenses, permits, and more. Requires Library Card for access.

Working With Independent Contractors, Nolo, 2011. Explains categorization of independent contractors, and strategies for avoiding trouble. Requires Library Card for access.

Print Sources

Independent Contractor v. Employee, MCLE, 2011.