From Floor Daily, Bradford G. Harvey discusses the increased scrutiny of independent contractor relationships by state agencies. Bradford writes:
A growing portion of the workforce is classified as independent contractors, rather than employees, and both the employer and the worker often prefer this classification. The government and plaintiffs’ attorneys, however, beg to differ and have made the issue of independent contractor misclassification a multi-million dollar, and perhaps multi-billion dollar, business.
This issue should be of particular concern for the flooring installation industry, given its tendency to rely on independent contractors. Floor Focus’ 2015 Retailer Survey found that 78% of independent flooring retailers work as independent contractors, and a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) survey found that 85% of independent contractors “appeared content with their employment type.” Despite the contentment of workers self-described as independent contractors, the IRS has declared that “the misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a nationwide problem affecting millions of workers that continues to grow and contribute to the Tax Gap.”
There are substantial risks involved with potential misclassification, and the battle is being waged on many different fronts. Retailers need to be aware of the applicable tests for independent contractor status and actively reduce risks when they use independent contractors or reclassify workers as employees.
Read the full story at Independent Contractor or Employee: Agencies are cracking down on retailers – Oct 2015