My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Michigan
I am in the midst of starting a business. I thought of this idea, and was wondering of the legality of it. The business needs quite a bit of marketing (mostly telemarketers used to gain clients). I plan on "hiring" several independent contractors, and using a softphone VOIP service to track the minutes used. Here is the plan:
-They "lease" computers and headset at a nominal $1/month with a ~$100 security deposit.
-They provide their own high-speed internet connection.
-They are required to use our softphone VOIP service as it tracks minutes and is an all-in-one telemarketer suite.
-Although not required, it is highly advisable to attend a workshop on how to use the software.
-Although not required, it would be nice to receive periodic workshops and performance meetings with independent contractors.
Hypothetical employee will be paid $10/hour.
$10/hour/60 minutes = $0.1666 a minute. Subtract the VOIP cost (actual) of $0.039/minute = $2.34/hour. $10-$2.34 = $7.66/hour. Divided by 60 minutes = $0.127 ~ $0.13/minute.
Technically, if they talk for all 60 minutes, they will earn $7.80/hour, which is greater than the minimum wage. If they do not talk all 60 minutes, they will earn less than minimum wage. Independent contractors do not have the luxury of a minimum wage. Not that it will make anyone rich by any means, but in this area, there's a ton of talented people without work, and as a start-up, its essential to keep costs down for survival.
With that being said, I have the following questions:
As an independent contractor, can I pay someone by the minute worked?
Can we require an independent contractor to "lease" our computer as it has all the software loaded? Can we monitor their activity, as long as its on our computers?
Can we require an independent contractor to use the softphone VOIP that will track their usage? I know that many of these work-at-home gigs, people must have their own dedicated line that they pay.