3.07 Contractors and Consultants

Last Revised: 15 Oct 2004

Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Business & Support Services


This policy applies to all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.


The University often contracts with firms and individuals to perform a variety of specifically defined tasks. Contracts are issued in accordance with the University's policy on procurement. Because there are legal penalties for inappropriately classifying an individual as a contractor or consultant, various factors must be considered before entering into a contractual relationship. In general, an independent contractor or consultant is usually retained for a particular project, exercises substantial control and initiative over the way he/she performs the work, works on a fee basis rather than by the hour or for a salary, and provides his/her own tools and equipment. Detailed guidelines are appended to this policy.

As a general rule, Gallaudet employees cannot serve as consultants or contractors to the institution. Employees who perform work outside of their scope of responsibilities may receive additional compensation if approved by the unit administrator and senior administrator; however, their classification remains that of an employee and all appropriate taxes are deducted.

Travel, lodging, and meal expenses incurred as a result of a contractual arrangement are reimbursed according to the University's travel policy.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration


  • Instructions: A person who is required to comply with instructions about when, where, and how he/she is to work is ordinarily an employee.
  • Hours of Work: A person who is required to work a set number of hours is usually an employee. A consultant or contractor is usually the master of his/her own time.
  • Control: If the services are subject to the will and control of the employer, an employer/employee relationship is suggested. If the person doing the work has the right to control its progress, an independent consultant or contractor relationship exists.
  • Training: An independent contractor or consultant ordinarily uses his/her own methods and received no training for the services.
  • Office/Equipment: Doing work on the employer's premises while using the employer's equipment implies control; therefore, the relationship is usually employer/employee.
  • Tasks and Products: If the individual to be hired is producing a particular product or performing a specific task and is being paid primarily for the end result, an independent contractor or consultant relationship is suggested.
  • Payment: Employees are paid on an hourly or bi-weekly basis. An independent contractor or consultant generally receives a lump sum payment or installments tied to stages or completion of the project or product.
  • Multiple Employment: An individual who works for a number of firms at one time is generally an independent contractor or consultant.
  • Right to Discharge: An independent contractor or consultant cannot be fired except under the terms of the contract.
  • Right to Resign: An employee has the right to end his/her relationship with the employer at any time without incurring a liability. An independent contractor or consultant works pursuant to the terms of the contract and may be legally obligated to make good for failure to provide the contracted services or product.