Independent Contractor or Employee? Tailoring Your Contracts to Avoid Misclassification - New rules of thumb in worker classification for 2020 and beyond

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    Speaker: Mark Schwartz

    More Trainings by this Expert
    Duration: 60 Minutes
    Product Code: 51122
    Level: Intermediate

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Uber, Lyft and other “Gig Economy” businesses have experienced huge success in the new millennium. A big part of the reason why is that they classify a large majority of their workers as independent contractors. But that business model is in danger. Many states are attacking the worker classification model, asking courts to mandate that their workers, usually drivers, are classified as employees.

• Are you a food delivery service, or other business involved in the Gig Economy?
• Do you treat large classes of workers as independent contractors?

If so, it would do you well to understand the independent contractor rules and regulations and the simplified tests involved in classification. On the federal side, you can request a determination that prevents auditors from reclassifying your workers for you. There are also provisions that limit your liability if you want to reclassify them yourself.


• Understand the new, simplified IRS rules for determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor
• Be able to determine if those workers you currently treat as independent contractors should be reclassified as employees
• Know where to go to determine State rules on the same
• Teach hiring managers how to know who to put on payroll
• Prevent one of the most expensive mistakes an organization can make in hiring decisions


• Details on the 3 factor test used by the IRS. How to evaluate which factors are most important
• What courts look at in tax cases
• How to document your determination. How to request a voluntary reclassification
• IRS form SS-8
• Specifics on Uber and Lyft cases, and other worker misclassification cases
• Other definitions of I/C’s used by states and the DOL
• How to minimize audit risk of misclassification. How to evaluate your audit risk


You will learn how to take a critical look at your independent contractors, helping you determine who you should put on your payroll instead. You will learn about independent contractor agreement, and what states are joining forces for mandatory employment vs those that grant more freedom to employers.

You will be given best practices for protecting yourself from auditors and employees who find themselves wanting the safety nets provided by Unemployment Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance. Mostly, you will come away armed with the knowledge that, when ignored, results in the bankruptcy of otherwise vibrant companies.


• Hiring Managers
• HR Professionals
• Payroll Professionals
• Executive Management
• Self Employed Individuals


Years of Experience: 15+ years

Areas of Expertise: Payroll Processing and Payroll Tax Issues

Mark Schwartz is an employment tax specialist and has over 15 years of employment tax experience as an independent consultant and as a payroll tax auditor with the State of California. He has managed an audit caseload of 20 ongoing audits, from small home-based businesses to large multi-national corporations. He is expert at defining regulatory and statutory requirements from local, State and Federal government agencies; and helping the average business person understand what that mean to their business. He has processed weekly and bi-weekly payroll checks plus tax forms for businesses with hourly as well as exempt workers, multistate operations and a wide variety of benefits.

Mr. Schwartz provides consulting services encompassing payroll processing and payroll tax issues. These include payroll tax minimization, payroll tax compliance reviews, independent contractor studies, use of electronic transfers, deductions, benefits, etc. Markhas represented both clients and the State in front of the State Appeals Board. He understands the complexities of local wage laws, unemployment and disability claims, and other wage and benefit issues affecting your employees.

Mark prides himself on his outstanding customer service skills. He listens attentively to his clientele, helping them bridge the gap between the small business world and Government bureaucracy. He eagerly assists with clients needs, and feels that educating clients toward faster, accurate and more complete payroll processes provides the most value.

Mark is a participating member of the American Payroll Association. He earned his BA and MBA in Finance at Santa Clara University. He has held Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Investment and Derivatives Auditor Credentials. Mark is currently pursuing a Certified Payroll Fundamentals Credential with the American Payroll Association.

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