Cheating Happens More Often in Business than in Football

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(photo by Skitter Photo)

From Maine at Work, Karen Bilodeau writes about the cheating that takes place in the workplace when workers are improperly classified as independent contractors instead of employees.  She reports the standard in Maine for classifying workers.  She writes:

“In 1999, the Maine Law Court set forth a number of different factors to consider when classifying someone as an employee or an independent contract. These factors include:

  • whether there is a contract for the work;
  • whether the type of work being done is independent in nature or controlled by another;
  • whether the worker can hire and supervise employees hired;
  • whether the worker has to furnish her own tools, supplies and materials;
  • whether the worker controls the progress of the work performed;
  • time the worker is employed; and
  • how the worker is paid (by time or by job).

Despite the fact that the Law Court set forth these factors, various employers in Maine, typically contractors, continue to engage in a pattern of misclassification of employees.

By classifying a worker as an independent contractor, both the employer and employee ultimately suffer consequences. If the employer doesn’t carry workers compensation coverage, it can be sued for negligence if the worker suffers an injury. When wrongly classified, the worker is deprived of benefits he or she may otherwise be entitled to such as workers’ compensation coverage, health benefits, sick time, and vacation time.

The act of simply labeling an employee as an independent contractor does not determine whether a worker is independent. Employees should be cautious when they are labeled as an independent contractor because there are consequences to that classification…”

Read the full story at Cheating Happens More Often in Business than in Football

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