Massachusetts has a very strict independent contractor statute which makes it very difficult for businesses to hire independent contractors. There are a number of reasons why the Massachusetts legislators enacted this law including the following:
- Misclassification hurts the individual employee by denying them protections provided to other individuals classified as employees including workers compensation, company benefits, vacation and holiday benefits and protections against discrimination and wage violations.
- Employers who misclassify individuals as independent contractors enjoy a “windfall” including the avoidance of taxes which imposes significant financial burdens on the Federal government and the Commonwealth in lost tax and insurance revenues.
- Employer who misclassifies employees as independent contractors have an unfair competitive advantage over employers who correctly classify their employees and bear the financial burden of vacation and overtime pay; Social Security and Medicare contributions; unemployment insurance contributions; and payment of workers’ compensation premiums.
Employers who are unsure how to properly classify staff should consult with an employment attorney to avoid costly litigation and strict penalties including automatic treble damages for unpaid wages, including overtime, value of benefits offered to properly classified employees, interest and payment of attorney’s fees.
Employees who believe they are being misclassified should also consult with an employment attorney to determine whether they are being properly paid and provided benefits and protections required under the law.
Whether an employee or employer, contact us by phone at 617-396-4600 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation on this topic.