Could someone please verify my reasoning?
Currently, I’m employed by a law firm as fresh meat. Little over minimal wage, promised to double in March. The firm is a limited partnership and the partners I work for (not certain about one) maintain separate law firms in their own names and with separate addresses. I don’t know if that’s their home address and they just do some work through those mini-firms, or if they actually spend some little time there. Generally, the centre of the activity is the big firm and all employees work there. They get quarter-time minimum wage employment (medical insurance etc) in one of the tiny individual law firms and contracts for legal services for the rest (and since every partner is only a minority partner in the big firm, it counts as employment with two separate employers). The work is somewhat independent but tasks are assigned as they come and one’s supposed to be at work in fixed hours every day.
When one of the partners offered me the job, he said if I wanted everything by the book, I would simply get less money net. His proposal is quarter-time in the name of his private mini-firm and a services contract in the big firm. While I sometimes work on cases that are conducted through the mini-firm, that’s because those cases are generally managed in the big firm but come out in the name of the small one. I’m expected to be at work in fixed hours and available. I’m not really supervised, but I get feedback and sometimes I’m expected to change tasks or something - which all make it look more like normal employment than the work of a contractor.
I realise I’ll look like I’m trying to be holier than everyone if I demand a normal employment contract and getting less money out of it (they care how much they spend on it, not how much you get) while everyone is on the quarter-time employment + services pattern and even the tax office doesn’t have a problem with it. Insurance inspectors don’t seem to care, but I believe at least labour inspectors would have a problem with it and it all does seem to be in conflict with what traditional science of law sees as salaried employment, mandate contract etc. Things I do could technically be contractual services, but the fact I work fixed hours, fixed wage, have to be available etc make me feel bad abotu signing a services contract. So am I trying to be more Catholic than the Pope, or do you think my concerns are justified?
At least I hope if they see me “force” a perfectly unquestionable employment contract for all the money that changes hands, perhaps they won’t ask me to do anything dubious in the future. I’ve already refused to introduce myself as someone I’m not (client’s employee, client himself, the attorney who got the powers) and they don’t ask. And yes, I’m looking for a different job.