Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Federal/State Cooperation on Independent Contractor Issue

It does not seem very often that any headline that involves government can properly use cooperation these days, but yesterday's story on NPR, Labor Dept. Expands Enforcement Of Wage Violations, indicates that the Department of Labor is signing agreements with various state agencies to share information that will allow both to go after companies which "mis-classify" individuals as independent contractors.

For governments the bottom line is that when an individual is an employee, it gets more money and it is more easily collected, than when an individual is an independent contractor. If you are an adherent of the "follow the money" line of reasoning, that is enough to make you take notice that you should make sure that your independent contractors, really are that.

The states that have signed agreements so far (and thus states where you really should turn up your own scrutiny, rather than wait for someone else to do so) are Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah and Washington, with New York and Illinois lurking in the wings.


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