Re: Employment Status

Subject: Re: Employment Status
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 17:01:56 -0400

My knowledge is from the other side of the coin. I worked for a
consulting firm full time (in a non-writing capacity) and wanted to work
as a tech writer for them on a contract basis. This was a large company
who knew the IRS ropes, so they gave me a list of all the things I (as a
former employee) would have to do before they could hire me as a
contractor and not bring down the wrath of the IRS. One of these
requirements included obtaining an employer identification number
(EIN)--which I guess basically tells the IRS that I'm serious about
launching a business and have not been coerced by my employer. Frankly,
all the runaround was irritating for me and my employer, basically it
was too much trouble at that time. Now, though, I can see why the IRS
is so careful--I won't ever rail against these restrictions again!

The key is benefits, of course. As a contractor, you'd have to assume
that 7.5% FICA that your employer pays. But weren't you getting any
other benefits? Be sure to count all of them, including obscure
insurance and other taxes.

On the other hand, there is something they can do legally, and that is
to place you on part-time/occasional status. The consulting firm I
worked for did this for its field personnel--engineers, geologists, etc.
These people basically worked the hours they were given, which might be
80 hours one week and 5 the next. I think the benefits were applied
over a stretch of time: if you average a certain number of hours or
that period of time, then you're eligible. Does the law require
benefits only over 20 hrs/week? (Not quite sure about this--anyone?)

Let us know how this works out.
Sella Rush
mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database

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