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  On Tue, 16 Dec 1997 13:28:54 -0500 (EST), Christopher Pall wrote:
  >> Norm; Microsoft just -lost- a battle in State Labor court, for want of a
  >> better, more knowledgeable term, about how it compensates the contractors
  >> who work there.  I forgot the exact details... but I recall they were
  >I know the details!
  >As a previous contractor this case was passed around and ballyhooed for quite
  >some time in our circles. Microsoft and other big companies love to hire
  >contractors because they pay a flat rate, don't have to do any paperwork for
  >them, provide any benefits, deal with employee issues, plus, they can fire
  >them whenever they want... (basically they've found their loophole into
  >screwing workers into the next century)
  >Anyhow, there was this group of contractors working for MS that was
  >complaining that they didn't get all of these benefits of MS employees yet
  >they did the exact same work, got the same cubicles, worked on the same
  >machines, were the head of projects etc... they just didn't get health
  >insurance, stock options etc.. So they sued, saying, we're MS employees! They
  >won, and this is why...
  >The government considers you an employee of the company you contract for if
  >you meet three criteria
  >1) The company you work for sets you salary or gives you bonuses. (MS must
  >have been giving them bonuses) I can remember EDS at my last job tip-toeing
  >around this point.
  >2) I don't remember
  >3) I don't remember
  >Well, I know there were three, but my mind is failing me, it's been a while,
  >I'll have to look for an article on this later.
  >That's what it was though...
  I recall that there are more than three criteria, at least from
  a federal tax perspective, and if memory serves me correctly, 
  something like eleven.  Individual states should be in 
  "harmony", but may codify additions.
  It boils down to the definition of "statutory employee", which
  the the federal government is again reviewing.  This is a bit
  of a research project on its own.