Contractor suing? Don’t plan on quick dismissal

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

One more thing to worry about if you use independent contractors: If a contractor sues over unpaid wages and overtime, it’s unlikely a court will dismiss the lawsuit early.

Recent case: Jean Roberts, who did work for an accounting firm, didn’t receive her last paycheck. She then sued for unpaid overtime, based on her assessment that she regularly worked more than 50 hours per week.

The accounting firm argued that she was an independent contractor (not entitled to overtime) and wanted the case dismissed right away.

No dice, the court said. The firm won’t get to raise her alleged independent contractor status until later, as the case moves through the system. (Roberts v. Cabbalero & Castellanos, et al., No. 09-23131, SD FL, 2010)

Final note: The IRS is cracking down on employers that improperly classify workers as contractors.

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