July 16, 2015 -Courts and regulatory agencies are increasing the scrutiny coming at employers regarding the relationship with their workers: businesses and independent contractors, contractors and subcontractors, employers and employees. In response, many employers are utilizing different tactics to classify their workers; reclassifying workers to save money by taking them off formal payroll and lowering costs.
For years, employers have shifted work off their actual employees and on to independent contractors. This relabeling of the workforce with slight alterations to their work conditions left many in court or owing settlements. As this misclassification of employees as independent contractors is receiving such intense focus across industries, many businesses are now turning to other types of employment relationships:
Setting up Workers as Franchisees
Setting up Workers as Owners of LLCs
Both of these methods help to shield the business from tax and labor statutes that are attached to the formal payroll for actual employees of the company.
These new tactics have state and federal agencies aggressively putting a stop to the setup: passing local legislation to address the issue, filing briefs in worker’s lawsuits, and closely keeping an eye on the increasing popularity of what regulatory agencies see as an equally questionable alternative to the independent contractor employment model that has experience such a crackdown.
As employers are finding it more difficult to save costs by avoiding an official payroll, workers are finding that they are required to assume more risk. They suddenly need to shoulder more of the burden for health care premiums, retirement income and even job security. This shift in responsibility from the employer to the worker seems to be spurring the major influx of misclassification suits and allegations.
Employers are seeking more creative ways to misclassify workers. If you feel that you are misclassified or you need to discuss the issue of misclassification with a southern California employment law expert, contact an employment law attorney at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.