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Employers sometimes seek to augment their work staff with additional individuals tasked to do specific types of work.

They often accomplish that by hiring new employees. Those individuals work alongside existing workers and receive standard workplace benefits. Those include health/disability insurance, overtime and protection against discriminatory practices. Employers also withhold money from workers’ wages that is applied to Social Security and Medicare. “Regular” employees also receive workers’ compensation benefits and unemployment compensation.

Employers do not always classify workers the same way, though. They sometimes view an individual as being retained on an impermanent basis and not integral to the business in an ongoing way. Many such workers are deemed independent contractors rather than employees.

The distinction is key, given that those two designations are viewed differently under the law. Again, and unlike the case with independent contractors, employers must withhold taxes for employees and protect them via workplace safety and anti-discrimination laws.

An Ohio employer will want to get things right when it comes to proper worker classification. Ambiguity attached to an individual’s status (especially an employee who is classified as an independent contractor) can raise suspicions regarding an employer’s intent. Company owners must sometimes defend against claims that they are misclassifying workers to avoid paying taxes.

An in-depth online overview of the employee-versus-independent contractor distinction stresses the absence of a single litmus test for determining the lawful status of a worker. Courts typically look at several factors that center on how much control an employer and worker exercise, respectively.

Business managers might reasonably have questions or concerns regarding worker classification. They can contact a proven pro-business Ohio commercial law firm for answers and diligent legal representation that fully promotes their best interests.