Earlier this year, I wrote Avoiding the “Independent Contractor” Trap about the dangers that companies face if they misclassify employees as independent contractors. The Wall Street Journal recently reported (Employers and Workers Clash in Court Over ‘Contractor’ Label) that those dangers have increased.
According to the WSJ article, the Internal Revenue Service will audit 6,000 randomly-selected U.S. companies in its first attempt since 1984 to quantify the extent of employee misclassification. The IRS is not taking this step merely to help the individuals involved receive the pay and benefits to which they are entitled – state and federal governments stand to gain billions of dollars every year from withholding taxes, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation if workers are classified properly.
Even greater than the risk of a government audit is the risk that a disgruntled “independent contractor” will file a wage claim (see Wage Claims – Nasty but [Sometimes] Necessary).
Avoiding the “Independent Contractor” Trap lists factors that can help you determine how to classify workers properly.
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.