Companies Grapple with Optimal Strategies for Avoiding Risk in Hiring Independent Contractors

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Albany says concern is heightened with changing legislation in U.S., globally

They’ve helped us institute a clear and repeatable process dealing with our contract workers.

A growing global contingent workforce and changing legislation is heightening concern over worker misclassification, an issue increasingly discussed at industry forums.

Even companies in markets not typically worried with contract worker issues, such as the pharmaceutical industry, have sounded warnings by firing executives who’ve violated contingent worker policies. Management is increasingly asking “how do I become compliant” when hiring independent contractors.

“Companies in the U.S. are closely watching pending legislation from the new administration, and the changing regulations throughout Europe and other regions,” said Jason Posel, senior vice president of Albany, a provider of contingent worker management services operating in over 70 countries. “Globalization is prompting many firms to rethink their strategies.”    

Some companies have responded conservatively, mandating all contingent and temporary workers become employees of their suppliers to steer far clear of onerous fines and penalties resulting from misclassifying contract workers. This is not always the best strategy, according to Posel. Some Western European countries are very strict in their definition and regulations of contract workers. In other countries, it’s typical for skilled workers to be independent contractors and less restrictive governmental regulations support that.

“It takes a state-by-state approach in the U.S., and globally, it’s best to combine a country-by-country with an individual approach,” added Posel.

Posel was joined by representatives of industry giants Cisco and Google at the last Contingent Workforce Strategies (CWS) Summit. A recording of the session, “Managing Independent Contractor Compliance Risk: Down the Block and Around the World,” is availably at Albany’s website,

Cisco System’s Randall Levinson, Global Contingent Workforce Program Manager, said a key driver of the company’s contractor compliance program is “managing around the precedents,” set by Microsoft, Fed-Ex, Time Warner and HP that dealt with legal issues between assumed employees who were actual contractors—resulting in enormous fines and penalties.

Given Cisco’s global presence, Levinson advised having the appropriate internal expert or working with a partner with a strong international presence and knowledge to guide the company on the necessary steps to ensure compliance for every employee.

“With Albany engaged to handle our Contractor Compliance Program we have streamlined our processes and had a significantly positive impact on misclassification management in the U.S. and internationally," said Levinson. “They’ve helped us institute a clear and repeatable process dealing with our contract workers.”

About Albany
Albany,, is a global leader in contingent workforce management solutions with over 20 years of experience. With offices on six continents serving clients in 70 countries, Albany offers a variety of national and international workforce solutions, including contractor payroll, Independent Contractor compliance, Managed Service Provider programs, Recruitment Process Management and Consulting, and visa & migration services.

Jason Posel
Senior Vice President

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.


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