An employee is an individual who renders a service at the will and under the control of an employer, both in terms of what must be done and how it must be done. The employer can allow the employee considerable discretion and freedom of action, so long as the employer has the legal right to control both the method and the result of the services.
An independent contractor is an individual or business over whom the university has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means by which the results are accomplished. Independent contractors are sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and partnerships (corporations are exempted from the independent contractor process) that render services to the general public and meet additional criteria in IRS guidelines. They usually have a separate workplace and are not supervised when they are working within the organization. They often provide a one-time or periodic service that fulfills a special need of the university and cannot be provided within the organization. Independent contractors are frequently individuals or businesses who provide professional advice.
All workers performing services should be designated employees unless there is sufficient evidence, as determined by independent contractor compliance, to treat the worker as an independent contractor.
As a general matter, the IRS identifies the level of independence and control as the main factor that differentiates an employee from an independent contractor.