By Randall D. Avram and Michael T. Rosenberg
Among the handful of employment law issues currently targeted by plaintiffs’ lawyers and government agencies, only independent contractor misclassifi cations are under attack from so many angles.
An employer’s decision to classify a worker as an independent contractor can be challenged as a result of any number of triggers, such as a federal or state tax audit, a benefits dispute, a workers’ compensation claim, an unemployment claim, a wage and hour lawsuit, a federal Department of Labor audit (or its state equivalent), merger/acquisition due diligence, or a discrimination lawsuit. Although each of these liability sources carries its own threat of significant penalties and costs, a mis-classification challenge on any one of these fronts threatens to trigger
attacks from all sides.