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HR’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Workers' comp has been a workplace staple for a long time, but it can confound even the most seasoned employers and HR professionals.

Download this FREE White Paper to learn workers' comp basics, including a lexicon of helpful terms, a workers' comp checklist to help you manage the process, and information about your employees' role in workplace safety.

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IC Additional
Additional HR Resources

5 Alternatives to RIF
If you're facing a RIF, it may be time to explore some alternatives

Overtime Ins and Outs
All the ins and outs of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Legal and Successful Hiring
Federal and state laws you need to know when making hiring decisions

50 Employment Laws
This revolutionary guidebook that puts ALL the most need-to-know employment law information - for each of the 50 states - right at your fingertips.

Employment Law Manual
All-new 2012 Edition is fully up-to-date with the latest revisions to FMLA and COBRA and other laws!

Employment Law in Your State
Where your state lawmakers and fellow employers stand

Federal Employment Law
Advanced warning on upcoming federal regulations and legislation

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors can do valuable work for a company without the complications of hiring them as employees. Employers need to make sure, however, that independent contractors don’t turn out to be their employees after all.

Some of the factors courts will consider when deciding whether someone is an independent contractor or employee are who controls the manner in which the job is done, who sets the worker’s hours, whether the work is performed on the employer’s property during regular business hours, how long the company’s relationship with the worker lasts, the method of payment, who provides the tools necessary to perform the job, and whether the work is part of a company’s regular business.

Learn how to correctly classifying workers in the Wage and Hour Compliance Manual

Misclassifying workers
Incorrectly classifying workers as independent contractors can be a costly mistake. If a court decides they’re really regular employees, a company can incur significant liabilities. Misclassified workers are entitled to the benefits they would have received if they had been classified correctly. This could include health insurance, retirement benefits, and stock options.

HR Guide to Employment Law: A practical compliance reference manual covering 14 topics, including overtime

Discrimination and harassment
Employees, unlike independent contractors, are protected by discrimination and harassment laws, including an employer’s duty to accommodate any disabilities. But, if a company’s employees harass or discriminate against an independent contractor because of his race, the company can be liable under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (yes, 1866). The law protects minorities’ right to enter contracts, including an independent contractor’s agreement to perform work for a company.

Overtime and minimum wage
Employers might also have to reimburse misclassified workers for wages they should have paid them under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That includes overtime and minimum wage.

Tax ramifications for misclassifying workers
If an independent contractor turns out to be an employee, the company might have to pay back taxes and/or penalties for federal and state income taxes, FICA, and unemployment.

Audit your wage and hour and employee classification policies and practices with the Employment Practices Self-Audit Workbook

Workers’ compensation
Injured workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors are eligible for workers’ comp benefits the same as other employees. The employer’s state’s workers’ comp law determines who’s an “employee” eligible for workers’ comp benefits.