I have been working full-time as a Software Developer (Web and Mobile) for a Canadian tech startup. It is my first job after graduating from university. The pay is well below the average but I am fine with it because of other reasons.
The 6 month contract I signed (5 months ago) was as an Independent Contractor but I have been working, expected to work like, and treated as a full time employee. By this I mean I have a designated work area, have been given a second monitor, mouse etc. I also am expected to keep track of my 40 hours on a shared Google Calendar which my direct supervisor monitors.
I have three questions:
Is this a normal practice?
When I renew the contract at the end of this month, I will be asked to sign a new contract at a slightly higher rate but still as an Independent Contractor. IF I leave the company 3 weeks after signing this new contract to pursue grad school, would I be risking burned bridges to the point where this company won't give me a good reference later on?
What is the best way to ask this startup to let me continue as a REAL independent contractor? Where I get the task finished on my own time w/o having to work in office 9-5 everyday.
Note that the contract states that the company can terminate my contract immediately w/o cause and that I can terminate the contract with 14 day notice.