As an employer, you expend a lot of financial resources when you pay benefits to your employees and provide them with paid time off. While these incentives can certainly be motivating to employees and lead to the hiring and retention of the labor you need, you may not want the financial burden associated with those benefits.
We understand that, especially if an individual providing work for you is doing so in a limited capacity. However, when it comes to worker classification, you’ll want to make sure that you have a full understanding of the law so that you can protect yourself from legal action.
Is your worker an independent contractor or employee?
One of the biggest areas of dispute when it comes to worker classification is whether a worker should be considered an independent contractor or an employee. Independent contractors aren’t paid benefits, whereas employees are, so you might see the benefit to classifying a worker as an independent contractor. However, before you can successfully do so, you have to consider several factors; the same factors that a court will look at if legal action is taken:
- How much control do you have over the worker, his or her work product, and his or her behavior?
- Is the work essential to the business’s functioning?
- Where does the worker perform his or her job duties?
- Have you provided training to the worker?
The more control and involvement that you have with a worker, then the more likely it is that he or she will be considered an employee.
Know how to deal with worker classification issues
There can be a lot at stake when worker classification becomes an issue. On the front end, it could mean thousands upon thousands of dollars that you may or may not have to pay in benefits. On the back end, it could mean potentially facing a judgment that would require you to pay extensive damages to those workers who have been misclassified.
Therefore, to best protect your business interests, you may want to speak with an employment law professional who can help you navigate your particular set of circumstances. Only then can you rest assured that you have the legal arguments that you need to best position yourself for success.