Know the Difference: Independent Contractor vs. Employee

The state of Oregon has very specific guidelines on what constitutes an Independent Contractor. Our incentive programs track these guidelines and require that all regular employees are paid via a third party payroll system in order for any labor to qualify.

Who is an Independent Contractor and Who is an Employee?

A worker who provides services for remuneration generally will be considered an employee by the courts and state regulatory agencies, unless that worker meets the criteria required of an “independent contractor” (or other exception) with the emphasis falling on the word “independent.”    

In making classification determinations, the courts and regulatory agencies weigh certain facts to determine: 

1.    whether the worker in question is free from direction and control; and/or 
2.    whether the worker is, as a matter of economic reality, independent of the business to which services are being provided. 

While not all agencies utilize the same criteria, you can find the specific tests for each agency on this website under our Rules/Statute link. 

The definition of an “independent contractor” for the Department of Revenue, the Employment Department, the Department of Consumer & Business Services’ Workers’ Compensation Division,​ the Construction Contractors Board and the Landscape Contractors Board is found at ORS 670.600.  These agencies require that the worker meet all the criteria of ORS 670.600, in order to be considered an independent contractor. 

Note that different criteria are utilized by the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI.)

You can find out more about this by going here.