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LEGAL DICTIONARY

Employee

An employee is someone who gets hired by an employer for a specific job. They are usually paid an annual salary or hourly wage as part of an employment contract. In addition to monetary compensation, employers often provide employee benefits in an effort to maintain high employee retention rates and incentivize workers.

Not all workers are employees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific guidelines that determine which workers are classified as such. For example, independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals aren’t usually considered employees.

Read on to learn about different types of employees and how they are defined.

What Is An Employee?

Both employers and employees must have a clear understanding of what makes someone an employee. Employment laws offer additional protections to workers classified as employees and while employers usually have more control over this type of staff, they must also fulfill additional tax obligations as a result. These taxes may include medicare, social security, unemployment, and income tax.

As mentioned, the IRS has a detailed classification system in place to differentiate employees from other types of workers. These common-law guidelines can be divided into the following three categories:

  • Behavioral Factors: An employer has more control over the behavior of an employee compared to other types of workers. For example, an employer can decide where and how an employee should complete their work and set an exact timeline for them to follow. When evaluating employees, employers can also assess other metrics in addition to the results of their job, such as their work habits and conduct.
  • Financial Factors: Employees are often reimbursed for additional costs incurred while working, such as supplies and equipment expenditures. They are also guaranteed a predefined wage over a set period of time, while contractors are often paid flat fees in return for a service.
  • Type of Relationship: An employee is usually hired with a contract, and there are certain timelines and benefits that are associated with employment. This can differ vastly depending on the employer, but in general, employees have long-term relationships with their employees which include vacation days, pension plans, and other terms.

What Is a 1099 Employee?

A 1099 employee is one that isn’t classified as an employee under the IRS employment rules. A common example of this is an independent contractor hired for a specific job and paid a flat fee. This could include a graphic designer paid to design a logo for a company, or a landscaper hired to design your garden.

It’s important for employers to correctly designate their employees because by hiring an independent contractor, they can avoid a substantial tax burden. 1099 employees generally follow their own schedule, use their own equipment and methodology, are able to personally decide what jobs they take. In turn, they are not provided special benefits or training by their employer

What Is a Federal Employee?

A federal employee is someone who works within one of the US branches of government. Their role usually involves helping the government function by running operations, providing services to citizens, and applying federal law. Federal jobs are usually characterized by stable employment over long periods of time and relatively competitive salaries.

The three branches of the United States government are as follows:

  • Executive branch: Carries out operations for the government and includes the Executive Office of the President, the United States Department of Defense, the Cabinet, and various other executive departments and independent agencies.
  • Legislative branch: Establishes new laws and is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Judicial branch: Reviews and evaluates laws that have already been passed and conducts court cases in federal courts such as the Supreme court.

What Is an At-Will Employee?

At-will employment refers to a working arrangement that can be terminated at any time by either the employee or employment, without cause, and with no notice. This type of employment structure has grown in popularity in recent years, as it affords more flexibility to both parties.

This type of working relationship decreases the liability of both parties in the event that employment is terminated by either the employer or employee. Despite this, at-will employees cannot be let go for reasons such as disability or sexual and racial discrimination. Firings can also not be of a retaliatory nature or in violation of public policy.

An employee is someone who gets hired by an employer for a specific job. They are usually paid an annual salary or hourly wage as part of an employment contract. In addition to monetary compensation, employers often provide employee benefits in an effort to maintain high employee retention rates and incentivize workers.

Not all workers are employees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific guidelines that determine which workers are classified as such. For example, independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals aren’t usually considered employees.

Read on to learn about different types of employees and how they are defined.

What Is An Employee?

Both employers and employees must have a clear understanding of what makes someone an employee. Employment laws offer additional protections to workers classified as employees and while employers usually have more control over this type of staff, they must also fulfill additional tax obligations as a result. These taxes may include medicare, social security, unemployment, and income tax.

As mentioned, the IRS has a detailed classification system in place to differentiate employees from other types of workers. These common-law guidelines can be divided into the following three categories:

  • Behavioral Factors: An employer has more control over the behavior of an employee compared to other types of workers. For example, an employer can decide where and how an employee should complete their work and set an exact timeline for them to follow. When evaluating employees, employers can also assess other metrics in addition to the results of their job, such as their work habits and conduct.
  • Financial Factors: Employees are often reimbursed for additional costs incurred while working, such as supplies and equipment expenditures. They are also guaranteed a predefined wage over a set period of time, while contractors are often paid flat fees in return for a service.
  • Type of Relationship: An employee is usually hired with a contract, and there are certain timelines and benefits that are associated with employment. This can differ vastly depending on the employer, but in general, employees have long-term relationships with their employees which include vacation days, pension plans, and other terms.

What Is a 1099 Employee?

A 1099 employee is one that isn’t classified as an employee under the IRS employment rules. A common example of this is an independent contractor hired for a specific job and paid a flat fee. This could include a graphic designer paid to design a logo for a company, or a landscaper hired to design your garden.

It’s important for employers to correctly designate their employees because by hiring an independent contractor, they can avoid a substantial tax burden. 1099 employees generally follow their own schedule, use their own equipment and methodology, are able to personally decide what jobs they take. In turn, they are not provided special benefits or training by their employer

What Is a Federal Employee?

A federal employee is someone who works within one of the US branches of government. Their role usually involves helping the government function by running operations, providing services to citizens, and applying federal law. Federal jobs are usually characterized by stable employment over long periods of time and relatively competitive salaries.

The three branches of the United States government are as follows:

  • Executive branch: Carries out operations for the government and includes the Executive Office of the President, the United States Department of Defense, the Cabinet, and various other executive departments and independent agencies.
  • Legislative branch: Establishes new laws and is composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Judicial branch: Reviews and evaluates laws that have already been passed and conducts court cases in federal courts such as the Supreme court.

What Is an At-Will Employee?

At-will employment refers to a working arrangement that can be terminated at any time by either the employee or employment, without cause, and with no notice. This type of employment structure has grown in popularity in recent years, as it affords more flexibility to both parties.

This type of working relationship decreases the liability of both parties in the event that employment is terminated by either the employer or employee. Despite this, at-will employees cannot be let go for reasons such as disability or sexual and racial discrimination. Firings can also not be of a retaliatory nature or in violation of public policy.