December 19, 2014

Have You Misclassified Your Independent Contractors?

Businessman using darts to classify independent contractor

We see employees misclassified as independent contractors all the time as we deal with medical and especially dental practices. With that in mind, I want to comment on a recent case where I think it’s worth noting the court’s comments and some sage legal commentary (I’ll link you to it in a minute).

Here are the basics. The defendants are the owners of a strip joint, and, like you, are employers. Essentially, their argument was, “Hey, by classifying and paying our strippers as independent contractors, we are just following a time-honored and industry-accepted practice.”

“No soup for you!” the court more or less responded. “Just because everyone has been getting it wrong for a very long time does not change the law, nor the fact that you misclassified these employees.”

(You might be able to hear your mom’s voice in the background, here: “If your friends all jumped off a bridge…” It’s the beginning of her standard lecture about making the right decision on your own.)

Here’s what to keep in mind. There are strict IRS and DOL rules regarding the classification of employees. We all have to follow these rules!

And while I am in no way comparing doctors to strippers, the employment law principles that apply to this issue are the same for all employers, regardless of the position held by the employee or how much clothing they wear to do their job.

Independent Contractor Classification Mistakes are COMMON

So if you have an associate doctor or are thinking about hiring one, and would like to know more about the rules for proper classification of employees versus independent contractors, click for a complimentary copy of our Independent Contractor Cheat Sheet.

You can check out the original coverage and commentary HERE

And by the way…this is one of the things we help with here at CEDR. Misclassification of associate doctors, dental hygienists, and other types of employees as independent contractors is very common, but you do need to fix the error. So if you’re a doctor, dentist, or small practice manager of any kind and you’re not sure if you’ve got this right, give our HR Solution Center experts a call at 866-414-6056. We’ll give you some free pointers on moving forward with as little risk and fuss as possible. We’re on your side.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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Please note: CEDR Solutions specializes in providing expert HR support to owners and operators of independently owned medical and dental practices.