Independent contractor or not?

Misclassification can lead to charges, fines, safety liability
By Melissa Mancini
|Canadian Payroll Reporter|Last Updated: 06/13/2013

Recent complaints brought forward by two Vancouver-based workers at Shaw Communications brought the issue of determining a worker’s employment status to the forefront.

Independent contractors don’t automatically become full-time employees. But if the relationship looks like an employer-employee relationship, the worker may be considered an employee for the purposes of employment legislation, wrongful dismissal actions, EI, CPP and income tax, regardless of how the parties have chosen to characterize the work arrangement, said Carla Nassar, a lawyer at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti in Toronto.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), “will closely scrutinize these relationships to ensure that it is really an independent contract and not an attempt to mischaracterize an employer-employee relationship,” said Nassar.