Get answers to your most urgent questions about COVID-19 and its impacts to employee benefits, human resources, risk management and other issues. Our page provides articles and webinars on critical topics as well as other resources.
Knowing that life’s only two certainties are death and taxes, let’s turn our attention to how the IRS determines independent contractor status. Previously, the IRS used to apply a 20-factor test to determine whether or not an individual could be classified as an independent contractor. A number of years ago they moved to what they call a “common-law” test that focuses on the degree of control the business exercises in achieving its purposes versus the degree of independence the worker has to actually perform the tasks themselves.
As described in IRS Publication 15-A, the IRS will closely examine each of the following three areas: “behavioral control, financial control, and the type of relationship of the parties.” Let’s take a look at each.
The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) and its related state agencies are charged with making sure that employees are given the modern-day equivalent of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Employers who fail to do so can be subject to back-pay claims, penalties and attorneys’ fees.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the various regulatory agencies have stated their keen interest in rooting out misclassified independent contractors. In the context of work comp, there are two likely scenarios that could uncover a misclassification — a routine insurance carrier audit or a work-related injury suffered by an “independent contractor”. Since insurance companies regularly conduct audits for their clients, this article will focus an audit triggered by an independent contractor getting injured.
Personal social media posts by your employees can have all sorts of unintended business impacts. How you respond (or don’t respond) can have both legal and practical implications. Fortunately, you have more power than you think. While social media has been the platform for any number of very positive things, it can also be terribly divisive and hurtful. Rather than seeking out opposing viewpoints, some people immerse themselves in echo chambers who think exactly the way that they do to the exclusion of others, and in such environments, it’s easy for everything to become politicized.
While managing remote employees does have some unique challenges, the basic skills necessary to successfully do so aren’t that different than those used to effectively manage in-person staff; the ways those skills are employed, as well as the mindfulness with which they’re leveraged, may be what’s different instead.
As states loosen stay-at-home restrictions, many businesses are grappling with how to deal with the myriad issues that arise in connection with bringing employees back into the workplace. These decisions are complicated by the fact that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and looks likely to stick around for the foreseeable future. In this article we’ll discuss the various considerations that should be part of your return-to-work planning. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out our COVID-19 Back to Business Planning Tool, which goes into greater depth on most of the things discussed in this article, provides helpful checklists, and contains template documents along with other resources.
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