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...IRS Form SS-8 ...
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss8.pdf

I looked through it, and it's quite detailed. Although some cases fall into grey areas, the general concept is:
- For part-time, summer, or other temporary situations, it's OK (and common) for the worker to be an IC (independent contractor). My kids both got 1099-misc's from some of their summer & holiday jobs.
- If the worker freelances for more than one employer, s/he's an IC.

So, in general, if a worker is full-time and permanent with one employer, s/he should be an employee, not an IC. Sometimes businesses, to save money, bring in workers as IC's when they should be hiring them as employees. This is illegal. More info:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=173423,00.html
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99921,00.h...
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