From JDsupra, Steven Smith discusses the risks of misclassifying workers, the standards for classification and offers some great recommendations for staying out of trouble. Steven writes:
Best Practices to Avoid Misclassification Claims
- Given the potential risk of misclassification, there are some steps companies can take to avoid misclassifying:
- Draft detailed job descriptions for all positions, including roles filled by independent contractors.
- Avoiding having independent contractors do the same or similar work as employees.
- Do not provide independent contractors with supplies, tools or equipment.
- Do not reimburse independent contractors for work-related expenses.
- Be willing to give up some control. If you treat them like employees, they will be considered your employees.
- Compensate independent contractors on a per-job basis rather than by hour or by week, and invoice them.
- Fully discuss the nature of the relationship with prospective independent contractors, and reduce the understanding to writing.
- Avoid the outward appearance of an employment relationship (company email address, company phone, etc.).
- Regularly review the nature of the relationship, and reclassify workers as needed.