Ten European tourists face up to a year in Cambodian prison after being arrested for “pornographic dancing,” according to The Telegraph. Apparently, they went to a villa barbeque party and took pictures of themselves, clothed, dancing in suggestive poses.
Readers take notice: When barbequeing in Cambodia, do not draw unneeded attention to yourself by simulating sex positions and posting the pictures on social media.
When dealing with independent contractors, it’s also a good idea not to Continue reading →
My favorite news story from last week was United Airlines’ decision not to allow a woman to fly with her emotional support peacock. Peacocks are pretty, strutting their feathery stuff to attract the smokin’ hot peafowl ladies, but they’re not cuddly, and they don’t belong in the tight quarters of commercial aircraft.
I did my research here, and I can confirm they’re not even good house pets. According to an Information Leaflet published by the Wrexham County (U.K.) Borough Council, peafowl have not taken well to modern methods of human transport. The Leaflet warns potential peafowl pet owners, “Peafowl for some reason are fond of cars and enjoy standing on them. They will also attack their reflection in cars and cause damage by scratching and pecking them.” They also have a “very loud high-pitched meow like call.”
None of this sounds like what I want in a seatmate on a commuter flight out of Newark.
The same advice can be given when retaining independent contractors. Contractors are supposed to be in business for themselves. They are expected to be competent in performing the types of activities they are being retained to perform. In several of the Independent Contractor vs. Employeetests applied to federal and state laws, the amount and type of training is a factor that can tilt the scales toward a finding of misclassification.
But sometimes, some training is needed. The key questions to ask yourself are, What type? And How much?
You know deep down you’re not really going to run a triathlon or learn Mandarin in 2018, so how about a New Year’s Resolution that’s more realistic? Here are 5 things businesses can do to limit their risks of an independent contractor misclassification finding:
Review and edit contracts. Independent Contractor Agreements should be customized for the specific retention, highlighting actual facts that would be helpful in opposing a challenge to independent contractor status.
Review and modify facts. Almost every independent contractor relationship can be strengthened by finding ways you can give up control or memorialize ways that you do not ever intent to exercise control. Does it really matter what times of the day your contractor works? If you set hours and don’t need to, change that fact. Then memorialize it in the contract.
Use a Vendor Qualification Questionnaire. Qualify your contractors before retaining them. Make them represent to you that they are really in business for themselves, have other clients, are not economically dependent on getting work from you, etc. These representations can be useful if the contractor — or the government — ever challenges the contractor’s classification by claiming the relationship is really employment.
Assign a gatekeeper. You may have contractors that you don’t even know about because managers in parts of the business have retained outside help rather than ask permission to hire new employees. Create a process that requires managers to obtain permission from a particular person before retaining any outside labor.
Be proactive. Examine the facts and circumstances of your independent contractor relationships now. Know where you stand on the risk scale. Then assess how you can make changes to better protect your business against a claim of independent contractor misclassification. There are almost always steps that can be taken proactively to limit your risks. Be ready.
If you haven’t seen this Will Ferrell short video from 1997, take a look. Pretty funny.
Everyone wants their money. Method of payment is one of many factors used to evaluate whether an independent contractor is properly classified or instead is an employee.
Payment by the hour is permitted, but this method of payment more closely resembles employment. Payment by the project, regardless of time spent working, is most appropriate for an independent contractor relationship.
Have you ever had the dream where you show up at work or school in your pajamas or underwear? You’re exposed and embarrassed in the dream, and you can’t figure out why you forgot to put on regular clothes, right? (Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s had this dream. Please?)
You may be living this dream inadvertently in your vendor or subcontractor agreements. (And this is not what people mean when they say, “I’m living the dream!”)