It’s complicated to determine who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. Someone you consider a contractor may turn out to be an employee under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA)—and the TCHRA may cover you if those contractors turn out to be employees.
Recent case: Wayne Culver sued Gulf Coast Window and Energy Products for discrimination under the TCHRA. The company argued it had fewer than 15 employees, the threshold for TCHRA compliance.
But Culver argued that several alleged contractors should be counted as employees. They all wore company uniforms, worked set schedules and received vacation and sick leave benefits. That made them employees, the court ruled, and added them to the count. (Culver, et al., v. Gulf Coast Window and Energy Products, No. 01-22-00080, Court of Appeals of Texas, 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Fired after cancer diagnosis, Nacogdoches bus driver sues
- Beware lawsuits from contract workers, too
- How not to handle a whistle-blower's complaint: Threaten to kill employees who report you
- Keeping confidential info secret: Lessons from the Wal-Mart leak