Statutory Employees

Even if a worker is not an employee under common law rules, he or she may be considered an employee for certain statutory purposes, such as FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax, federal and state unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation, Fair Labor Standards Act compliance, occupational safety and health requirements, and other statutory programs. Likewise, a federal or state statute may exempt certain employers or employees from its application.

Because both federal and state statutes define employees covered by their respective laws, both sources must be consulted before concluding a legal requirement is not applicable to a specific situation. Special rules apply to certain occupations, such as salespersons, and to special situations such as family owned businesses that employ family members.

The definition of “employee” often involves a legal determination. For this reason, particularly in unclear cases, it is important to consult an attorney before concluding an individual is not an employee.

CREDITS: This post is an excerpt from An Employer’s Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota, originally produced through a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Lindquist & Vennum, P.L.L.P.

This post is part of a series of posts on hiring an employee in Minnesota.