What kind of an employee are you?

What kind of an employee are you?

What kind of an employee are you? 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

I seem to recall a line in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is asked “What kind of a witch are you?” She replies, “I’m not a witch at all. I’m Dorothy Gale from Kansas.” A perfectly logical response to such a strange question.

By: Linda Hartley

So Virginia worker, I ask in earnest, “What kind of an employee are you?”

  • Are you an independent contractor?
  • Are you an owner?
  • Are you an employee?
  • Do you hold stock?
  • Do you have vested stock options?
  • Did you sign some kind of Operating Agreement or Articles or formal paperwork other than your employment contract?

And when I ask these questions dear client, it is not simply because I am curious. It is because your position at the company matters.

It  matters legally.

It matters because the type of employee you are, directly relates to your rights and duties should you decide you want to move on from your current job.

An independent contractor, arguably (** although this is one of those gray areas under current Virginia law**) may not owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to an employer where an owner or employee certainly does.

Further more, an owner may have signed two agreements that together spell out post employment obligations, where employees don’t typically sign foundational documents like Operating Agreements for an LLC etc.

So, Dorothy Gale, I will ask you again, “What kind of employee are you?”

She replies, “I’m not a witch at all, I’m Dorothy Gale, from Kansas.”

Poor Dorothy. She doesn’t understand my question. Hopefully you potential client will understand my question when you call to have your employment contract reviewed.

– Lauren







About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.

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