Fight or Flee: Unemployment for Independent Contractors

Unemployment for Independent Contractors in Minnesota is tricky.

Independent contracting cases are strange because the laws in Minnesota keeps changing.  Even worse, the rules change based on a worker’s occupation.

Unemployment for Independent Contractors: Rule 1

The first rule is simple:  independent contractors do not get unemployment benefits in Minnesota.  For this reason, workers who are trying to seek this benefit should be arguing why they are an employee.

Unemployment for Independent Contractors: Rule 2

If you think you found an applicable law, likely there is another law that contradicts your situation.  MN independent contractors are governed by dozens of statutes, rules and law cases.

Unemployment for Independent Contractors: Rule 3

Employers do not want to call you an employee because they will owe thousands of dollars in unemployment taxes and payroll taxes.

One way employers try to get through this process is by conveniently calling a worker a contractor.

Which Law Applies?

All of them.  Generally, a worker will need to be prepared for the following issues:

  • Use of office, equipment, and materials,
  • Tax return process,
  • Contracts (verbal and written) used,
  • Expenses related to the service or work,
  • Responsibility and satisfaction of work completed,
  • Payment process (commissions, bid process, or other wage methods),
  • Profits and losses, and
  • Recurring business liabilities.

Even more important, workers need to be prepared to combat what their employer might say too.

Contractor Audits

fight for unemployment benefits

Look, I know the rules for defining a contractor are crazy, strange and all over the board.  Luckily, you can help yourself by looking for two things:

  • Is an auditor asking you questions, or
  • Are you being informed about filing an appeal?

If you find yourself backtracking, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open.  Unfortunately, auditors or field agents are not necessarily on your side.

Thus, prepare accordingly.

Minnesota laws for independent contractors

Every employee and employer relationship is different.  Every person has different conversations when they are hired.

Some people believe they are following rules and guidelines defined by the IRS.  Other employees have written contracts and some workers make verbal agreements.

This means your specific situation should not be compared with a co-worker, friend or family members.

Lawyer to help with Minnesota independent contractors

If you are looking for an attorney to help, please find me.  I wish you the best.