What Are My Legal Rights As A Contract Employee?

As the decades have passed, so too has how we traditionally think of conventional areas. One of those areas has to do with how our workforce is structured in general. In the past, the employer-to-employee relationship was rudimentary in its basic foundation.

Sometimes, the lines become a bit more blurred in our modern-day society. Some employers may hire contract employees to assist in the organization’s operations. However, just because the worker is on a contract for their tenure doesn’t mean they have rights. The following goes a bit more in-depth with that notion.

1. Termination And Severance

Concerning an employee’s contract, many aspects dictate the length of their tenure. Should this result in eventual termination, a contract employee may consider some things. Depending on the nature of the contract, severance will play a factor.

Typically, many employees on payroll will receive severance pay after being dismissed. If the contract employee is on a fixed term and is terminated before it expires, they receive severance. The payout amount will ultimately depend on what was stated in the contract.

2. Classification

As mentioned previously, how you are professionally described may be a bit blurry. If you happen to be a contract employee, you must first look at how your duties are illustrated. Sometimes, if you happen to be performing more than what was stipulated, you are technically an employee.

You should only be conducting your responsibilities if they are directly stated within the given contract. If you are not, it might be time to discuss this appropriately with your employer. Employment law protects you through this type of classification, should you decide to take action.

3. Income Tax

One of the most important areas of working as a contract worker has to do with how income tax is handled. Once tax season rolls around, you should make every move to a state where you are indeed a contract worker. If you do not, you could be misrepresented as an employee after filing your taxes.

This is where classification becomes much more crucial in the long run. Speak to your employer about who will be organizing your tax documentation, such as the T4 slip, if you are in Canada. The individual handling this aspect of income season is crucial for more than obvious reasons.

4. Proving Your Classification

If some situations devolve, and you are forced to head to court, it is important to keep various documentation on hand. These documents and records will go a long way in proving your actual classification to a judge. For example, make sure that you have the right records of employment denoting each contractual term.

These pieces of documentation are especially important, as it demonstrates to a judge the length of your tenure. Other pieces of documentation, such as correspondence, could go a long way in proving your classification too. If you were subject to a specific code of conduct by your employer, that could act as proof as well.

5. Increasing Responsibility

As mentioned previously, your contract should inevitably dictate how much you are supposed to do at work. If you find that your responsibilities are increasing, but not your position in the company, you could take action. Underemployment law, you can use this added responsibility to take legal action.

Your employer is bound by employment law to appropriately describe your responsibilities in your contract. This can be seen as binding, and it will be for the duration of the contract itself. To help prove this further in court, you can also demonstrate that your job title itself has not been altered. Every little bit helps when it comes to safeguarding your rights!

6. Employment Lawyer Advice

The lines of any working arrangement can be so nuanced that they can be misconstrued. That is why it is crucial to speak to a lawyer to clarify your role. Employment lawyers specifically are the best in their craft and can offer numerous services.

For example, they will advise you on your role as a contract worker. If any area is unclear or many red flags present, be sure to ask questions. It is in their best interest to fairly advise you on how to proceed if your case happens to be doable. As a contract worker, do not forget that you have the right to a job!

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