Consultant Versus Employee

  • Who Completes This Task: Administrative Support Staff, Budget Administrators, and Clerks


    Timeframe: Before work begins, takes about one week



    Human Resources (HR) will determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Employees are paid through payroll. Independent contractors are paid through Accounts Payable. Human Resources (HR) will determine a prospective consultant’s classification.

    By law, consultants who do not meet the federal definition of an independent contractor must be paid as an employee through payroll. This is not negotiable.

    For more information, see the IC vs EE Help Sheet and the Hiring a Consultant Help Sheet.



    • A new hire who expects to be classified as an independent contractor
    • Supervisor expects a new hire to be classified as an independent contractor
    • A new hire who will not become permanent district staff
    • Temporary, short term or project-based hires
      • Special event staffing
      • Construction
      • Trainers


    Initial Steps

    1. Hiring supervisor completes an IC vs EE Determination Form
      1. Answer questions accurately, not with the intend of getting a specific classification
      2. Do not guess on the questions (ask the consultant if you are unsure)
      3. Use a new form for each consultant
      4. Providing false information is fraud
    2. The form will automatically determine the worker’s status or direct hire
      1. In some cases, the form will need to go to HR for a final determination


    Steps - If Independent Contractor

    1. Contract negotiation
    2. Worker will be paid through Accounts Payable
    3. All contracts, regardless of cost or value, must be entered into the Sysoft eRFP system; upload copies of the
      1. IC vs EE Determination Form
      2. Contractor’s liability insurance certificate
      3. Bid or quote
      4. Any other contract-specific documentation
    4. Add or select the vendor in the system
    5. Purchasing will review
      1. If everything is complete and appropriate, the contract will enter the approval process
      2. If changes are made to the template, it may need to go to legal prior to further action
      3. If additional oversight is needed, it will be routed accordingly
        • If technology-based, IT will review
        • If student data is needed, REA will review
    6. Consultant provides any final documentation
    7. Purchasing sends contract to consultant to print, sign and return
    8. SPPS will utilize electronic signature, or print/sign/upload the final executed contract
    9. Purchasing will send the consultant a copy of the completed contract
    10. Purchase order is created
    11. Payment for work will be done through invoice sent to Accounts Payable



    Steps – If Employee

    1. Hiring manager contacts Workforce Management
    2. Workforce reviews the job/task expected of the consultant and works with HR to determine the job code
      1. Workforce can help determine if an employee requisition in PeopleSoft
    3. HR initiates new employee paperwork
    4. Whether they are an SPPS employee in addition to consulting or if they are just consulting with SPPS, the employee must use and submit a Supplemental and Hourly Pay form directly to payroll each pay period

    Please note that while supervisors may require consultants to complete a work log, HR does not need this, and it does not function as a valid time sheet.


    Steps – If Determination Must be Made by HR

    1. Email a copy of the IC vs EE Determination Form to
    2. A response is usually provided within two days
    3. Follow the steps above for independent contractor or employee as indicated by HR


    See the IC vs EE flowchart for a visual representation of this process.

Why This Is Important

Last Modified on January 13, 2021