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Beware! Illinois Launches Joint Effort to Fight Employee Misclassification

November 2012

By: Anthony J. Caruso, Esq.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is reportedly working with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Labor, and Illinois Department of Revenue to fight what these agencies call the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

On October 29, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced a new initiative to level the playing field for businesses that lose work to lower-bidding companies (who allegedly misidentify workers as independent contractors). Quinn states that these education and enforcement efforts are part of his plan to create jobs and rebuild the economy.

Misclassification occurs if an employer mistakenly treats workers as "independent contractors" when they are actually employees according to the agency or court involved. According to Quinn, some employers improperly use the independent contractor classification to avoid the costs associated with:

  • Unemployment benefits for individuals (UI) Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Minimum wage and overtime
  • Social Security
  • Tax withholding, and
  • Employee Classification Act.

Quinn further states that the Illinois Department of Labor, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Revenue and Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission are working jointly to increase awareness, help responsible business owners, and punish offending companies with fines and penalties.

If you have any questions or concerns about this topic or any other questions related to workers' compensation, please call attorney Anthony J. Caruso of Wessels Sherman's St. Charles, Illinois office at (630) 377-1554 or email ancaruso@wesselssherman.com.