As discussed in the recent New York Times article, federal and state officials, many facing record budget deficits, are starting to aggressively pursue companies that try to pass off regular employees as independent contractors.

President Obama’s 2010 budget assumes that the federal crackdown will yield at least $7 billion over 10 years.  More than two dozen states also have stepped up enforcement, often by enacting stricter penalties for misclassifying workers.  This effort is intended to reign in what regulators believe is a trend among companies to cut costs by classifying regular employees as independent contractors, though they often are given desks, phone lines and assignments just like regular employees. Moreover, the experts say, workers have become more reluctant to challenge such practices, given the tough job market.

To determine if you or your company is complying with the rules and regulations as applicable to independent contractors, please call your attorney.