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It is not advised for an organization to offer an independent contractor any training or development
opportunities (Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). According to Morgan (2018), employers often hire independent
contractors to save on financial expenditures. An independent contractor must fulfill the following
conditions: must be free of the employer’s control, work with a separate entity or business, and the
work performed is outside the usual activities of the employer (Morgan, 2018). During the independent
contractor and employer relationship, the employer only has control of the outcome of the performed
service or product (Morgan, 2018).
Independent contractors are not employees and should not participate in employee benefits such as
health insurance and worker’s compensation (Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). Independent contractors are also
responsible for any injuries they sustain while on the job and handle income tax payments (Morgan,
2018). In addition, they often provide their own supplies and equipment, set their schedules, and have
significantly greater flexibility than employees (Morgan, 2018).
When a company appoints an independent contractor, they tend to have the contractor acknowledge
their status in writing (Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). However, their position can still be challenged in court
(Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). Therefore, it is vital for an employer not to provide services and benefits
usually offered to traditional employees because this action could constitute the contractor as an
employee (Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). In addition, an employer can face legal issues if the independent
contractor challenges their status (Berkley & Kaplan, 2020). Therefore, employers should not provide
services they would generally offer to an employee to an independent contractor to avoid liability
(Berkley & Kaplan, 2020).
Berkley, R. A., & Kaplan, D. M. (2020). Strategic training and development. Sage.
Morgan, J. F. (2018). Clarifying the Employee/Independent Contractor Distinction: Does the California
Supreme Court’s Dynamex Decision Do the Job? Labor Law Journal, 69(3), 129–140.
Should an organization provide training to an independent contractor? Why or why not?
Berkley and Kaplan (2020) explain that providing an independent contractor with training is
not ideal. An independent contractor is not an employee of an organization. An employer
will provide training to their employees. When an organization makes the decision to
include independent contractors in their training and development plan, it becomes
unclear whether the individual is an employee of the company or someone hired as a selfemployed contractor. This decision increases the employer’s liability, especially since as an
independent contractor the employer is not required to provide benefits such as
unemployment insurance, health insurance, or worker’s compensation.
Having worked as an independent contractor, specifically as a gig worker during the early
parts of the pandemic, I can attest that though I was hired as an independent contractor,
there were some aspects of training provided. For example, I needed to know how to use
the app provided by the company to access jobs and process orders. There was also
training provided regarding certain handling procedures at different merchants. Attorney
Samuel Mills states that an independent contractor does not require training as they should
already know how to do the job (Cassidy & Mills, n.d.). In my case, as a gig worker, I did
need some form of training to understand the application and process by which orders
were to be completed.
Mills advises that in the state of Texas, the law presumes that workers are employees
(Cassidy & Mills, n.d.). As such, an organization who hires independent contractors needs to
be careful that they are clear about the working relationship. Providing training to IC’s, in
this case, would lend to the individual being an employee and would, therefore, be eligible
for the benefits provided to the employees of the organization.
Berkley, R. A., & Kaplan, D. M. (2020). Strategic Training and Development. Sage.
Cassidy, J. & Mills, S. A. (n.d.). Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Mills firm PLLC,
attorney at law. Mills Firm PLLC Attorney at Law. Retrieved March 20, 2022, from
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