The "legal literature" about the independent contractor has been occupied, almost exclusively, with the question of how best to identify him. Since early in the last century, when the name was first bestowed to express the idea that he is a citizen and quite able to pay his own way, his actual existence as a member of society in good standing has gone without question-that is, until very recently. Of late however, there has been a growing tendency, somewhat emotional in character, to look upon him with disfavor, as little more than a sham, a mere lawyer's device, conceived in sin and brought forth to provide undeserved immunity.' Though we steadfastly refuse to give much weight to this ethical judgment, it has its effect. Indeed, the matter has gone so far that the question now is whether the contractor has had a fair hearing; possibly he is being condemned upon insufficient evidence. At all events something in the way of a legal-sociological investigation is in order, which while perhaps not exonerating him in full should at least show more clearly what his place in society is and-hesitantly-should be.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Steffen, Roscoe T., "Independent Contractor And The Good Life" (1935). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 3883.