In modern useage, a contractor is often an individual under contract to work for an employer for a specified period at a specified rate of pay. They are considered self-employed and pay for their own benefits and self-employment taxes including Social Security and Medicare payments. Some may have their own firms or corporations. When their contract ends, their job is over. They receive no severance pay, no pension, or any other benefits.
Certain companies, most notably Microsoft, have recently had their contractor hiring practices challenged. Challengers maintain that people claiming to be self-employee contractors were in fact employees. That would require payment of employment taxes plus back payments for vacation, holidays, and other benefits routinely provided to employees. To avoid such challenges, employers are increasingly hiring temporaries who work for employment agencies. These temps are employees of the temp agency and cannot be construed to be employees of the temp agency's client.
Related Fool Articles
Related Fool Discussion Boards
Post your questions on Motley Fool's "Ask the Headhunter" board. []
Recent Mentions on Fool.com
- U.S. Army Recruits General Electric to Build $4.5 Billion Next-Gen Helicopter Engine
- Property Management Companies: Is it Smart to Hire One for Your Rentals?
- Oil Careers: Oil Price Plunge Leads to Thousands of Pink Slips
- China Has a New Navy -- and It's Making the Neighbors Nervous
- Chipotle Pulls the Pork, Stands by Its Mission
- The U.S. Navy Needs a New Frigate -- but It Will Get More Littoral Combat Ships Instead