There is neither a single or simple test used to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee
Foster City, CA (PRWEB) October 2, 2008
ICon Professional Services, the nation's leading Workforce Compliance experts have partnered with Santa Clara based law firm Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley (RMKB) to present Worker Classification ’08 - New Developments & Pending Legislation seminar to be held in San Jose, California on October 15, 2008.
As the economic downturn continues, the need to compete in a global market and control internal costs is increasingly being challenged by pending legislative proposals that dramatically impact employee classification and safe harbor protections. As state and federal governments attempt to bridge a growing $345 billion tax deficit, the issue of worker classification has been identified as a viable method to increase tax revenues through fines and assessments. Not sure you need to worry? Consider these unsettling facts:
- Obama-Durbin Independent Contractor Classification Act of 2007 (ICPCA) is likely to result in the most sweeping – and restrictive - legislative changes encountered in years.
- The IRS has recently allocated $86 million for worker classification enforcement.
- This year, 30 percent of IRS audits are specifically earmarked for the identification and enforcement of worker misclassification.
- Worker classification enforcement now represents the largest single tax enforcement program.
- Wage and hour lawsuits are one of the fastest growing types of class action lawsuits – and pending legislation makes it easier than ever for workers to file complaints or petitions for classification review or audits directly with the IRS.
- New guidelines require states to prove the effectiveness of their audit programs with increased cooperation and communication between state and federal entities including Worker Compensation, the Department of Labor, IRS and other agencies.
It’s Not Easy
Unfortunately, the laws are complex and only becoming more so. In fact, according to testimony provided to the House of Representatives, the government itself stated “There is neither a single or simple test used to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee”. In fact, the definition may differ depending upon whether one is reading the National Labor Relations Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act…unfortunately, workers have the option to file lawsuits under any of the above.
No industry is exempt
Although newly proposed legislation and IRS guidelines specifically target industries with higher than average rates of Independent Contractors, just a quick glance at recent settlements will demonstrate that no industry is exempt.
Worker classification litigation has resulted in record-breaking awards against many of the nation’s best known corporations including State Farm ($135 million), Walmart ($172 million), Microsoft ($97 million), UBS ($89 million), and FedEx (Estimated $1 Billion).
“The stakes are high, misclassification of independent contractors not only can result in significant financial ramifications but brand liquidity – this not only impacts shareholder value but exuberates the challenges of recruiting the type of talent a company may need to compete effectively," said Dan Hanyzewski, Staffing Director of Global Functions, Nike - a leading subject matter expert and keynote speaker on contingent labor.
What you will learn
The Worker Classification seminar has been designed to provide meaningful insight into the major issues currently challenging corporations. ICon Professional Services and RMKB have assembled a panel of leading executive level experts from KPMG, RMKB, and leading Fortune 500 companies to take you step-by-step through the process of understanding the following:
- Pending legislation that may restrict or even repeal Safe Harbor protections including retroactive reclassification of workers including:
o Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007.
o Taxpayer Responsibility, Accountability and Consistency Act of 2008.
o Employee Misclassification Prevention Act
o Fair Share Act of 2008
- How an auditor interprets the employer / employee relationship vs. an independent contractor relationship.
- Overtime: exempt vs. non-exempt misclassification, the next time bomb.
- Creating contracts that protect your rights and allow you to effectively manage your relationship with independent contractors.
- Best practices which have been implemented in leading Fortune 500 companies.
For more information or to register for Worker Classification ’08 please visit our website at http://www.icontract.com/conference/index.htm?id=22. Seating is limited so please book now.
About ICon Professional Services:
ICon Professional Services offers nationwide 1099 Compliance and payroll services. Please visit http://www.icontract.com to learn more about our services or call us at (650) 378-4150.
Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley conducts a multi-service practice offering litigation and transactional services to domestic and international businesses and individuals. Please visit our website at http:///http://www.rmkb.com for more information.
For More Information or offline registration for the Worker Classification Seminar:
Contact: Gail McAlavey (650) 378-7671
This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.