How you classify a worker matters. As many companies have found out, classification errors often come to light when a worker gets injured on the job. When they do, it can result in considerable legal problems for the company and worries for the injured worker who is unsure whether they have coverage.
As an employer, you could also face problems if you correctly classified someone as an independent contractor, but they argue you should have placed them as an employee.
New York has considerable means in place to tackle misclassification
The state makes it easy for workers to report employers they claim have misclassified them. Its Joint Enforcement Taskforce includes representatives from the Department of Labor, Attorney General’s Office, Worker’s Compensation Board and more. So, it’s crucial to act fast if a worker accuses you.
The difference between an employee and a contractor is not always clearcut
Here are some reasons someone you paid as a contractor might claim you should have put them on the books:
- You required they attend training: Contractors are paid to work, not learn
- You dictated their hours: Contractors knock off early or work late if they feel like it
- You paid their travel: Contractors usually factor this into their fees
- You provided them with tools: Contractors usually bring their own
Challenging a claim and defending against the resultant legal issues takes intricate knowledge of New York employment laws. Hiring experienced legal help is definitely your best option here.