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May 14, 2010
When Organizations Want to Convert Employees to Independent Contractors

Maria Anastas discusses independent contractor issues in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Employee versus Independent Contractor: Where’s the Line? How to Make the Proper Call and Stay Out of Court’. She provides information regarding what organizations need to know about converting employees to independent contractors and states it is difficult to address the issue of switching an employee to independent contractor status for the following two reasons:

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  • Legal advice needs to be provided by the organization’s legal counsel
  • Specific facts would need to be known about the nature of the relationship between the employee or employees and their employer. This can determine the employer’s level of exposure if an employee is then converted into an independent contractor

To properly decide is an employee can be converted to an independent contractor, more information is required. It can be an exceedingly risky venture when the only thing that has changed is the fact that the organization is in a situation where money needs to be saved or is not sure of how long the organization will exist. If the employee is still working for the employer and nothing else has changed, it can be dangerous for the employer to convert the employee to an independent contractor.

Maria Anastas is a partner in the San Francisco office of law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC ( ). She represents employers in labor and employment law matters exclusively, with a primary emphasis on traditional labor matters. She also devotes a substantial portion of her practice to providing employers with practical advice on a wide variety of employment law issues. She can be reached at

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