“The IRS, U.S. Department of Labor, countless other government agencies, and plaintiff’s attorneys all over the country know that millions in unpaid taxes and wages — plus attorney’s fees and penalties — are out there just waiting to be collected. The key to the treasure lies in proving a simple mistake made by employers everywhere: treating workers as independent contractors when they are really employees.
Whether a worker is characterized as an independent contractor or an employee depends in part on the area of law in which the issue arises. The applicable test can vary from one area of the law to the next. Virginia common law, for example, provides one test that applies in cases involving torts, unemployment compensation, and workers compensation. Virginia generally utilizes the “right to control” test to determine whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. Under the “right to control” test, a person is an employee if the company that hired him or her has the right to control not only the result of the work, but also the means and methods chosen to accomplish that result. In cases arising under federal employment statutes, other law will apply, although many of the principles may be similar.
Read the full story at Don’t Misclassify Workers as Independent Contractors