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Freelancer paid weekly

We have a freelancer that was hired on a weekly basis under the condition she work 40 hours. in reviewing her time sheets we have encountered a week where she only worked 34 hours as well as another week in which there were 2 days that she only worked 1 hour each day. Her total hours worked for that week was 25 hours. Are we obligated to pay her a weekly salary if she falls below our minimum work week since we have hired her on a weekly basis? Secondly are we obligated to pay her the weekly salary for the 2 days that she only worked 1 hour each day or does she convert to an hourly employee for those days?

We have some concern that this person may be an employee and not an independent contractor, even though you refer to her as a freelancer. When the employer controls when, where OR how a person works, then the worker is an employee, not an independent contractor. Employees are entitled to coverage under workers comp, unemployment, Social Security taxes, etc.

It would be very unusual for a client to specify that an independent contractor spend 40 hours per week on a project, and doing so may very well convert that freelancer to an employee. It is much more common for a client to hire an independent contractor to do a certain task, and pay for the completion of the task, whether it takes 2 hours per week or 100 hours per week.

Both state and federal government are cracking down on employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors.

If this worker is genuinely an independent contractor, there are relatively few laws governing how you must pay her. Her fee is whatever you and she have agreed it is. Preferably that agreement would be in writing. ideally you would pay her the same amount each week to get the job done — whether it takes her one hour or many hours. If the necessary tasks were all completed, then you should pay this freelancer the agreed weekly amount. Ideally, for large projects you would set regular milestones to access performance and pay based on those milestones.

In some jobs it is difficult to set milestones or to measure production except by the number of hours worked. In that case, you would be justified in prorating the independent contractors fee based upon the number of hours that she worked. For example, you would pay her 25/40 of the weekly rate for the week in which she worked 25 hours.

To be fair, before you begin prorating this workers fee, have a conversation with her and remind her that the agreed fee is for an expected 40 hours of work. Let her know that moving forward, you will be prorating the fees for fewer hours. You can request a credit for the weeks when she worked less than 40 hours, or just make the change moving forward.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 1:06 pm and is filed under
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One Response to “Freelancer paid weekly”

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