Is That Contractor Really an Employee?
The misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can prove costly for employers — including both community associations and managers. So it was good news when the Trump administration finalized a rule that loosened the test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
“Under Trump, the idea was to expand the number of individuals who would fall into the independent contractor definition,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law firm Becker & Poliakoff who practices employment law.
But the Trump rule never took effect. That’s why you need to refresh your knowledge of the test that has applied since the Obama administration and how it could land you or your clients in the enforcement crosshairs. “In the community association world, you see a lot of contractors who could be an employee or an independent contractor,” Dokovna says. “There are a lot of blurred lines and a lot of room for error.”
The Allure of Independent Contractors
Independent contractors are appealing to employers of all kinds for several reasons. The strongest draw though, generally is their lower price tag compared to employees.
“Employers ultimately save money with independent contractors because they’re not paying payroll taxes; the contractor is responsible for making sure the taxes get paid,” Dokovna says. “They also don’t have to provide the tools to do the work or oversee it, and they don’t have to provide health insurance, a 401(k), or any of those things an employee would traditionally get.”
To learn more about how to determine a worker’s status and why it matters, please click here.
An experienced litigator, Jamie Dokovna focuses her practice on employment law and community association law. She regularly represents employers navigate claims of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation; enforce covenants not to compete; and address allegations of housing discrimination. She is well-versed in all aspects of Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Florida Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act. To learn more about Jamie, please click here.