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DOL: Hawkins barked up wrong tree with contractors

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Shakopee-based Hawkins Tree and Landscaping will pay $500,000 to pay misclassified workers as part of a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

DOL investigators alleged that 57 Hawkins workers had been in­­correctly classified as independent contractors when in fact they were employees.

The company will pay $22,000 in civil penalties and must submit to regular audits to ensure all workers are properly classified.

Note: The DOL has launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of workers as independent contractors.

Now is the time to review all your independent contractor relationships to ensure they meet the law’s requirements.

When evaluating whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, courts will look at the total relationship, but a few key elements often determine the final ruling. A worker must be free to contract with other businesses, not just the one claiming the worker to be an independent contractor.

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