laws of the workplace

Sonya has entered into a contract for services with a publishing company, clearly stating she is an Independent Contractor. She used to work for the same publishing company a few years ago as an employee, but was ‘packaged out’ when they reduced their office space.  


She performs marketing research and prepares reports to promote the published works. These are exactly the same duties and responsibilities she had when she was an employee. Sonya has been given desk space, complete with a computer and phone in the office (but is a shared workspace that other independent contractors are permitted to use). Sonya has the option of working from home, but she will need to come into the office to meet with the production and development team on a regular basis (usually 3+ days per week). 


The company supplies her with a cell phone and has added her to their benefits package. The work that Sonya performs is of central importance to the publishing company and she often has to represent the publisher when meeting with external customers. Her contract allows her to work for other companies; however, her work for the publishing company keeps her too busy for additional employment.


Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think Sonia should be considered an employee or independent contractor? Please explain your choice.

2. Could the publishing company be liable for Sonia’s actions if she misrepresented the publisher to an external customer? Explain.

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