Definition of Employee?

I realize this is a fundamental question, but am unable to find the answer. Does DoL define "employee"? The Federal Acquisition Regulations don't seem to define it in general but they do break it out in individual regulations. I'm trying to determine how to include this definition in the Employee Handbook when it can mean different 'groupings of people' based on the situation being discussed. Thanks for any assistance...


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  • The Department of Labor has this ...

    In the application of the FLSA an employee, as distinguished from a
    person who is engaged in a business of his or her own, is one who, as a matter
    of economic reality, follows the usual path of an employee and is dependent on
    the business which he or she serves. The employer-employee relationship under
    the FLSA is tested by "economic reality" rather than "technical concepts." It is
    not determined by the common law standards relating to master and servant.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has on a number of occasions indicated that there is
    no single rule or test for determining whether an individual is an independent
    contractor or an employee for purposes of the FLSA. The Court has held that it
    is the total activity or situation which controls. Among the factors which the
    Court has considered significant are:

    1) The extent to which the services rendered are
    an integral part of the principal's business.

    2) The permanency of the relationship.3) The amount of the alleged contractor's
    investment in facilities and equipment.4) The nature and degree of control by the
    principal.5) The alleged contractor's opportunities for
    profit and loss.6) The amount of initiative, judgment, or
    foresight in open market competition with others required for the success of the
    claimed independent contractor.7) The degree of independent business
    organization and operation.

    There are certain factors which are immaterial in determining whether there
    is an employment relationship. Such facts as the place where work is performed,
    the absence of a formal employment agreement, or whether an alleged independent
    contractor is licensed by State/local government are not considered to have a
    bearing on determinations as to whether there is an employment relationship.
    Additionally, the Supreme Court has held that the time or mode of pay does not
    control the determination of employee status.

  • Thank you SFBay. I appreciate your detailed response.
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