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Independent Contractor

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Independent Contractor

The concept of an independent contractor addresses the legal distinction between 1) an employer and 2) a person or business that is hired to perform a service or complete a task.  An independent contractor is considered as "not being an employee of the employer."   Perhaps the easiest way to think about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor is to assume a situation where someone is injured.  The general rule is that if an employee does something wrong while "on the job" and another person is injured, the employer is liable for the injured person's injuries.   However, the general rule is that if an independent contractor does something wrong while "on the job," the injured person has no claim against the employer; the injured person can only seek compensation from the independent contractor.

An initial question then is to determine whether the person who has been hired is an employee or an independent contractor.  Factors that are considered in answering this question include:

In the Matter of BKU Enterprises, Inc., 513 N.W.2d 382 (N.D. 1994)

Significance -- Pechtl v. Conoco, Inc., 1997 ND 161, 567 N.W.2d 813

Exceptions -- despite the general rule that an employer is not legally responsible for the actions of an independent contractor, there are exceptions that need to be reviewed.

Exception 1 --

Exception 2 --

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