Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a violation of New Hampshire law, and it fundamentally undermines New Hampshire’s strong business climate.
Misclassification for purposes of workers’ compensation or the payment hourly wages creates a competitive disadvantage for law-abiding businesses. More importantly, it leaves those workers who are really “employees” without benefits, such as workers’ compensation or matching social security contributions, which they are entitled to receive under the law.
Misclassification deals primarily with hiring practices used by some employers to avoid obligations they have under the law. These obligations include providing workers’ compensation coverage, unemployment coverage, and other taxes, withholdings, and benefits for their workers.
There are workers in New Hampshire who truly operate as independent contractors. But there are also businesses that require their workers to call themselves independent contractors in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage. The employer will pay the worker, but the employer does not provide benefits to the worker, including mandated workers’ compensation coverage, social security contributions, matching federal unemployment, etc.
The state now has a Web site – www.nh.gov/nhworkers – where anyone can report suspected misclassification or other workers’ compensation-related issues in a secure environment.
The misclassification of employees or independent contractors is a fraud that costs all of us from the individual worker who is misclassified and missing certain benefits to the employers who play by the rules.