A 2007 study by the U.S. General Accounting Office estimated that each year, businesses misclassify 3.4 million workers as independent contractors. In New York state alone, a Cornell University study found that over 704,000 workers were misclassified as independent contractors, resulting in the state being shortchanged by over $175 million in unemployment insurance taxes each year.
Why the strong interest in this issue from the government? Because it is believed that the increased enforcement efforts will result in an additional $7 billion in recovered taxes over the next 10 years.
Whether intentional or not, companies found guilty of misclassification of workers may be liable for hefty fines and back taxes (almost $320 million in one recent case). In extreme cases, company officials might even be subject to criminal charges and prison time. Add in the ever-present concern of class action litigations, and this is clearly an issue that companies must take seriously.
Please join us for an informative discussion of the in's and out's of the independent contractor classification, including:
- How to determine whether an individual can properly be classified as an independent contractor
- How to protect your company from potential lawsuits and government audits
- What to do if you discover mistakes
For questions, please contact Jamie Millward at firstname.lastname@example.org.