Independent contractors and employees are not the same, and it’s important to understand the difference. The distinction is about more than taxes. It is a distinction that also involves relationships, responsibilities and respect. The IRS discusses contractors and employees in terms of very specific differences. To the IRS,
An Independent Contractor:
• Operates under a business name
• Has his/her own employees
• Maintains a separate business checking account
• Advertises his/her business’ services
• Invoices for work completed
• Has more than one client
• Has own tools and sets own hours
• Keeps business records
These are all attributes that apply to the 1099 subcontractors that NWCS uses on some projects. These people make up a very small portion of our company’s resources, but their exceptional knowledge and experience make them an essential part.
To the IRS,
• Performs duties dictated or controlled by others
• Is given training for work to be done
• Works for only one employer
Whether a person is an independent contractor or an employee generally depends on the amount of control exercised by the employer over the work being done, according to the IRS.
We believe the difference between contractor and employee is defined by the relationship between the company and the worker. At Northwest Contract Services, we see our relationship with our workers as a symbiotic one, a relationship where each party benefits from the relationship and where each performs to the benefit of the other at different times in the relationship. When a NWCS employee completes a project and is ready for a new assignment, the administrative team in the company advises on resume updates, scours the marketplace for new opportunities for the worker and arranges informational meetings and interviews so that the employee may be properly evaluated and appreciated for his/her potential contribution to the new assignment. Once the employee has his/her new assignment, the employee contributes to the well being of the company through the fees charged to clients for the work accomplished by the employee .We work for the good of one another.
Additionally, the tools our employees need to do their work are provided by Northwest Contract Services and by our clients. We pay all appropriate taxes for our employees. We compensate our employees for the work they accomplish. We meet with our employees on a regular basis and provide guidance and training on effective workplace behavior and we hold periodic employee appreciation events. Our workers are our employees.
Our employees are more than just our workers. Many of our employees are our friends, are people whose knowledge and experience we respect and admire, and are the people we lose sleep over. Northwest Contract Services genuinely believes that our company supports not just the families of the owners, but also the families of the more than 100 employees who have chosen to work as part of our company, and that is a responsibility… a responsibility that we take upon ourselves most seriously.