Posted on January 24, 2018

Just like any workplace, a nonprofit organization has workers who aid the nonprofit in the pursuit of its goals. These workers are the nonprofit’s most valuable asset, and their performance will often determine the organization’s overall success. However, is a nonprofit’s worker an employee or an independent contractor? Is there a difference? Does it matter?

A nonprofit will often treat paid workers as contractors – it is easier and there are less administrative and tax burdens. However, most paid workers are actually employees, and must be paid as such in order to avoid significant legal liability for the organization. This includes payment of overtime and minimum wage.

This article discusses how to determine whether to pay a worker as an employee or an independent contractor, and what the differences are under Georgia and federal law. First, we will review how employee and independent contractor classifications are interpreted by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL). Then, we will examine the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to help determine whether an employee is exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Included within this article are links which lead to USDOL guidelines.