If a worker is misclassified, there is a risk that the company could be liable for back employment taxes plus penalties, interest and legal costs. The following steps, while not foolproof, can help prevent an independent contractor from being misclassified as an employee:
- Specify the services to be performed, the contractor’s responsibilities and the parties’ expectations in a written contract
- Avoid setting a pattern of daily or weekly work hours dictated by your business
- Plan to compensate contractors on a per-job basis, not weekly or monthly
- Do not include independent contractors under any insurance or benefits coverage you have for employees.
- Always request an invoice before making payment