This is one of my favorite optical illusions. The spheres here are all beige. They are not red, green, or purple. Look closely and you’ll see. David Novick, a professor of engineering at UTEP, explains the illusion here.
It’s fun to be fooled with optical illusions. But it’s not fun to be fooled with federal immigration law.
Companies retaining independent contractors should remember these key points for I-9s and immigration law compliance:
1. Properly classified independent contractors do not need to complete I-9 forms.
2. Misclassified independent contractor — that is, those who are really employees under federal law — are employees and should have a completed I-9. A multi-factor test is used to make this determination. According to federal regulations, these factors should be considered:
- Who supplies tools or materials;
- Whether the worker makes services available to the general public;
- Whether the worker works for a number of clients at the same time;
- Worker’s opportunity for profit or loss as a result of labor or services provided;
- Worker’s investment in facilities for work;
- Who directs the order or sequence in which the work is to be done; and
- Who determines the hours during which the work is to be done.
3. Federal law prohibits individuals or businesses from contracting with an independent contractor to provide services in the U.S., knowing that the contractor is not authorized to work in the U.S. [8 U.S.C. 1324a(a)(4)]
4. Staffing agency temps employed by the staffing agency must complete I-9s as employees of the staffing agency. Contracts with staffing agencies should make clear the staffing agency accepts this obligation. If an agency sends a bunch of undocumented temps to your worksite, you might get an unscheduled visit from ICE, which is not a good look.
For those keeping a list at home (wait, that’s just me?), you can add immigration law noncompliance to the list of Things That Can Go Badly When Independent Contractors are Misclassified.
And that’s no illusion.
© 2021 Todd Lebowitz, posted on WhoIsMyEmployee.com, Exploring Issues of Independent Contractor Misclassification and Joint Employment. All rights reserved.