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Independent Contractors: Massachusetts

Independent Contractors requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Lisa Stephanian Burton and Peter J. Mee, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.


  • Massachusetts applies stricter criteria than federal law when determining independent contractor status.
  • The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance employ similar three-prong tests in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Both tests presume employee status. See Determining Whether a Worker Is an Employee or an Independent Contractor.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Revenue employs the IRS 20-Factor Test in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor for income tax-withholding obligations. See Tax-Withholding Determination.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents employs a hybrid test in determining whether a worker is an independent contractor. See Workers' Compensation Benefits.
  • The potential penalties for misclassification are significant. See Penalties.