Do You Know the Laws About Independent Contractors?

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on March 13, 2013

What’s the difference between an “employee” and an “independent contractor”. If you think a worker fits the description for both in some ways, where do you draw the line – and what legal consequences does your company face if you get it wrong?

These are million-dollar questions for employers – literally. The U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently made misclassification of independent contractors a “top enforcement priority” nationwide.

The rules for classifying workers as “employers” or “independent contractors” aren’t always clear. Nevertheless, misclassification of employees as independent contractors costs the state and federal government millions each year, so government agencies have stepped up enforcement in this area – exposing non-compliant companies to penalties and liability.

On March 29, TERRA Staffing Group teams up with the Seattle’s Dorsey & Whitney Law Firm to offer a 60-minute webinar on this timely topic. Attorney Michael Droke, Labor & Employment Co-Department Head at Dorsey & Whitney, will tackle tough questions like:

  • What’s the difference between an employee and an independent contractor under state and federal law? We’ll cover new interpretations and recent developments in worker classification during the webinar.
  • What potential penalties and other risks do employers face for wrongful classification of workers? Learn what the consequences are for incorrectly classifying workers.
  • What are the best practices for employers to limit liability if they mistakenly treat employees as independent contractors? Not every company gets the difference between employees and independent contractors right every time – but every company can protect itself in case of error.  We’ll cover the best practices for limiting liability.
  • What “red flags” should our company look for during a self-audit?  We’ll cover ways to identify potential contractor problems during a company self-audit. We’ll also discuss the safest ways to correct contractor misclassifications – without triggering a legal claim in the process.
  • Our company has been selected for an audit! What should we expect? Learn what an audit over employee classification involves and what you should expect if your business is audited.

Join TERRA Staffing and attorney Michael Droke as we cover appropriate strategies for classifying and managing independent contractors, Department of Labor enforcement programs, and what to expect during an audit. Contact us today to learn more!

**Update as of 3/21/13: This webinar has been approved by HRCI for 1.0 general credit hours**

Categories: HR and Management Advice, HR Compliance & Labor Laws

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