Worker classification—whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor—is a longstanding and sometimes difficult issue. There are a few different classification schemes applicable to different types of laws (labor, tax, etc.). Employers tend to favor contractor status when possible to avoid payroll taxes, application of most labor laws (such as overtime), and state laws governing how someone is paid, sick pay, reporting, and more.
Tag Archive for Worker Classification
I was surprised by the broad press coverage that a California Labor Commission ruling involving one ex-Uber driver (Berwick) received this past week (USA Today, 6/19/15; Los Angeles Times, 6/17/15;. New York Times, 6/17/15). This ruling (6/2/15) found that someone who drove using the Uber app for less than two months was an employee rather than a contractor. As such, under California Labor Code Section 2802, the employer must cover “all necessary expenditures” of the employee in carrying out their duties or obeying the directions of the employer. So, key to this expense reimbursement rule is that the worker must be an employee.
In the California Labor Commission ruling, the driver says she drove 6468 miles in the 49 days she worked and incurred tolls of $256 and a traffic fine of $160. Finding that she Read more
I do not know of any business owner who wants to be audited by the IRS or their state tax authority. Audits can be simply random as “decided” by the IRS computer, or they can be triggered by certain characteristics of your business operation, for example how you’ve classified independent contractors or employees (especially if they apply for unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation benefits, or even welfare).
Do You Operate A Beauty Salon?
Here are three key items the IRS and state tax authorities look for if you are an independent contractor or if you use them in your business.
1. Is there a lease between the independent contractor and the owner? Read more
Among our business tax clients, we are seeing a rise in wage and hour litigation, either ancillary to, or independent of, their tax issues. In fact, recently I was giving a presentation to a group of business owners regarding this very issue, and one of the attendees told me that his business headquarters had been visited by the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (DOL/WHD) that very day with a demand for records. What we are seeing at our law office could be coincidental; but, I believe it is the product of both an enhanced enforcement environment at both the federal and state levels, and a highly aggressive labor and employment law plaintiff’s bar. As the former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, said in 2009, “Make no mistake, the DOL is back in the enforcement business.” Solis has since been replaced by Thomas E. Perez, but there is no indication that the DOL is easing its Read more
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON WORKER CLASSIFICATION
If you own or manage a business that uses independent contractors, you need to know when you can or cannot treat a worker as an independent contractor. This article answers some of the common questions about worker classification.
Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is now a common phrase uttered by state and federal legislators and regulators. State task forces have been formed to crack down on businesses that do not pay unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation premiums or withhold taxes for workers whom the state believes are employees and not Read more