Employees are no less independent than independent contractors. The problem is an ethical one. What do I mean by that?
The other day I was helping a young filmmaker put together his resume. When I asked him why he wanted to work for the company he was applying to, he said “because I want them to fund my films down the road”.
I was asking this question because I needed to fill out his “objective” section on his resume. With a self-serving answer like the one he gave me, it’s difficult to write down an objective that won’t sound fabricated. Because it would be fabricated. He doesn’t really want to work for the company. He wants the company to fund his projects. Can you see how this is unethical?
It’s having the intention to commit treason. He has been freelancing until now, and he can continue freelancing because he’s making enough money. But he’s going to pretend to be a friend of the company for his hidden agenda.
It’s the same thing when someone applies for a job because they need the money, and not because they actually want to work at that company, or because working at that company will be mutually beneficial. As a result they become effects of their own causes. They start believing the company is the enemy.
No company owns their employees, at least not in this country. You can leave your company at any time. You are offering your services as a file clerk, receptionist, data entry clerk, manager, sales rep, customer service rep, whatever your job is. You are free to provide those services to whomever you want. Your services are for hire. Just like an independent contractor.
How the IRS handles technicalities is a different matter altogether.