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Determining whether you're working as an employee or an independent contractor is about a lot more than just knowing what to call yourself.

Although independent contractors and employees may often perform similar types of work, even working side by side, there are a number of legal differences between the two. How you're classified can have a profound effect on employment benefits, taxes, and legal liability issues.

How can you tell whether you're an employee or an independent contractor?

Top 3 Everyday Legal Questions From FindLaw Answers: January 2015

You've got questions... we've got answers. If you have not yet asked or answered a question in FindLaw's Answers community, what are you waiting for? This amazing free resource supports a dynamic community of legal consumers and attorneys helping each other out. Simple as that.

We see a lot of great questions in our Answers community every day. Here's a look at the Top 3 recent questions from our various boards:

1. Both my parents passed away without a will. There is a family cabin (not worth very much money) that I would like to have and my sister does not want. How do I go about doing that?

This is a great question; issues with wills, inheritances, and general estate planning are popular on our boards. In this instance, the individual is actually dealing with two issues: what happens to his parents' estate because they died without a will, and how to get his sister to disclaim her inheritance.

An unwed, pregnant Virginia woman was fired from her job at a church daycare after failing to marry her live-in fiance.

Apryl Kellam said she received a phone call Monday informing her that she was being fired for violating church policy, Richmond's WTVR-TV reports. Church officials had reportedly warned Kellam for several months that she needed to marry her fiance and father of her unborn child, James Coalson, in order to comply with the church's moral code of conduct for employees. Kellam and Coalson live together and both have children from prior relationships.

The couple said they are considering legal action against the church. Do they have a case?

Another year has gone by, and with it, many news laws were passed that will now (or will soon be) effective in 2015.

New recreational pot laws will go into effect this year, minimum wages will increase across the country, and even some undocumented workers will have a chance to get legal driver's licenses. Then of course, there's the portion of the Obamacare mandate that applies to employers.

Check out some of the notable new laws taking effect in 2015:

As the holidays approach, employees everywhere are dreading having to work on a handful of days. Some of them will receive a bump in pay as incentive, but that isn't always the case.

Lawmakers in California and Ohio are trying to increase that incentive by increasing holiday pay in their respective states. U-T San Diego reports that California legislators are pushing for a new bill that would entitle workers to double pay on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What will these holiday pay laws change if passed?

Virginia is for lovers. But it's also for students, parents, thrillseekers, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs. No matter which one of those hats you decide to wear in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you'll need to know the laws of the realm.

While in the Old Dominion, be sure to know these 10 laws:

Though the fourth smallest state by size, New Jersey is the most densely populated state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is due in no small part to the state's proximity to New York City, Philadelphia, and several other major U.S. metropolitan areas.

But whether you count yourself as a lifelong New Jerseyan, are just visiting, or are passing through from one of New Jersey's neighboring states, you should familiarize yourself with the nuances of New Jersey state law.

Here are 10 laws that you should know if you're in New Jersey:

Most people have a good idea of when they may be too sick to go to work. But can an employer ask for proof?

Whether your employer offers you paid sick leave (which will soon be required by law in some states) or your sick leave is unpaid, an employer will typically take an employee's word for it that he or she is sick.

In some cases, however, a supervisor may request a doctor's note or other form of documentation to justify a sick day. Is that allowed? Here's what you need to know:

A New York longshoreman's lawsuit claims he was sexually harassed by his male supervisor, and was later fired after complaining about a hostile work environment.

Michael Sabella, 48, once worked at the Red Hook pier in Brooklyn. He testified before a federal jury on Monday that he was groped and digitally penetrated by his male machine boss, and that management and his union failed to do anything about it, reports the New York Daily News.

What can employees learn from Sabella's harrowing tale of alleged harassment?

The dust has settled from Election Day 2014, and voters in four states have supported ballot measures to raise the minimum wage.

Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota voted to raise the minimum wage in their respective states, reports The New York Times. The trend also continued in two California cities, San Francisco and Oakland, whose voters approved plans to raise the minimum wage by 2015.

Here's what you need to know about these minimum wage increases: