Can You Offer Paid Vacation to Independent Contractors?

Can you offer paid vacation to independent contractorsVacation is all the Go-Go’s and their misplaced apostrophe ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away. Vacation, had to be spent alone.

Employees want vacation too, and so do independent contractors. Should your company’s vacation policy apply to independent contractors too? Can you grant your independent contractors a certain amount of paid vacation?

Not a good idea.

In the various tests for Independent Contractor vs. Employee, one of the recurring themes is that a contractor is in business for himself/herself.  The contractor is supposed to be able to work when he or she wants, so long as deadlines are met.

Providing paid vacation to an independent contractor may seem like a nice thing to do, but it’s not consistent with the idea of being an independent contractor. Vacation should be an employee benefit, not a perk available to contractors too. You shouldn’t be paying contractors for not performing work.

Belinda Carlisle took a long vacation from the Go-Go’s in 1985, when she embarked on a solo career featuring several annoying songs such as “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” The Go-Go’s later reunited, broke up again, reunited, and broke up again, none of which was noticed by anyone.

In contrast, offering your independent contractors employee benefits like paid vacation could get noticed by regulators as a sign of independent contractor misclassification. Paid vacation for contractors would also be a negative fact in any misclassification lawsuit.

When trying to maintain legitimate independent contractor classifications, it is important to respect the lines between employees and contractors. On this topic, we have nothing more to say for now. Our lips are sealed.

© 2019 Todd Lebowitz, posted on, Exploring Issues of Independent Contractor Misclassification and Joint Employment. All rights reserved.

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