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Types of Workers

Author: Jed Marcus, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.


  • The employment relationship can be categorized in a number of different ways, each carrying its own rights and obligations. See Defining Working Relationships.
  • Most employees in the US are at-will employees and may be terminated with or without cause, with or without notice. See At-Will Employees.
  • Full-time employees, on average, work at least 40 hours a week. See Full-Time Employees.
  • Part-time employees are typically paid on an hourly basis and have limited or no employer benefits. See Part-Time Employees.
  • Temporary employees are those that only work for a certain period of time and who may work for multiple employers. See Temporary Employees.
  • Independent contractors usually work for a specified period of time or on a specific project. See Independent Contractors.
  • Many salespersons are paid on a commission in which their pay is based on the amount of sales they make or revenue they generate. See Commissioned Salespersons.
  • The mere title of partner is not enough to determine whether the individual is an employee or employer. See Partners.
  • Gig workers may be classified as an employee or independent contractor, depending on the particular arrangement. See Gig Workers.
  • Interns may be paid or unpaid during a temporary work experience that focuses on a specific field or area of study. See Interns.
  • Externs typically work for a shorter period of time and are unpaid. See Externs.
  • Volunteers work for no wages in nonprofit, religious or humanitarian organizations. See Volunteers.
  • Trainees receive training and learning opportunities without compensation. See Trainees.
  • Foreign workers must have a nonimmigrant work visa to work for a US employer. See Foreign Workers.