Workers 'On Demand': How To Avoid Legal Risks That Come With Contingent Employees

Webinar: ID# 1001689
About This Course:
Contingent employee misconceptions:
  • Contingent workers are only the employees of the entity that supplies the labor
  • If an employer has a contract with a staffing company, it cannot be considered a “joint employer.”
  • Whoever pays worker is the sole employer
  • A company that obtains employees from a temporary help service must record injuries and illnesses of these employees, even if they are not on the company’s payroll
Smart employers rely increasingly on contingent labor. Of more than 3,300 organizations surveyed recently by Deloitte, half said the need for contingent workers will increase over the next three to five years.

This on demand workforce trend presents an opportunity for you to adapt quickly to changing needs and handpick proven innovators and technical experts when they’re needed most. But employing a contingent workforce comes with legal risks.

It’s vital for HR to understand how to handle contingent workers, such as consultants, independent contractors, and even on-call workers. You may think your employment risks are minimal because of how these workers have been classified, but in many cases, they may be entitled to the same protections as your full- and part-time employees under FLSA or other state and federal laws.

Also, figuring out whether contingent workers are the responsibility of the staffing agency that sent them to you or your organization—or whether they are totally independent—depends on their job duties and conditions.

For instance, a lot depends on whether you can hire and fire, supervise, and set parameters around the worker’s output. Other factors also play into defining a contingent worker as your employee, and how much responsibility you, as the employer, have in that regard. In some cases, a staffing agency may be considered a joint employer. Both entities then can be held responsible under the applicable laws.

Join us to learn how to manage the legal risks associated with employing a contingent workforce. You'll get a firm grasp on classification fundamentals concerning on demand workers and learn how to avoid legal trouble.

Learning Objectives:
  • The legal benefits and pitfalls of employing a contingent workforce
  • How to classify contingent employees—on-call, consultant, independent contractor, etc.
  • How to determine who is the actual employer
  • What are the “control tests” that determine contingent employees
  • How does the economic realities test apply to a contingent worker
  • What are the legal implications for employers when dealing with contingent employees
  • How to handle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with contingent employees
  • What you are responsible for if you are a joint employer with a staffing or other agency
  • Tax consequences to employers if an employee is misclassified
  • How joint employer liability arises—and best practices to steer clear of legal risks
  • Who is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations
  • And much more!
In just 90 minutes, you’ll learn how to manage the legal risks associated with employing a contingent, on demand, workforce.

About Your Presenter:

Gordon M. Berger, a partner in FordHarrison LLP’s Atlanta office, works with employers to resolve complex employment disputes and to reduce litigation risk. He regularly advises businesses in a multitude of employment and corporate law matters, including EEO, wage & hour, restrictive covenants, employment agreements and day-to-day employment and business law issues. Berger is especially experienced in advising alternative staffing organizations or administrative services organizations (ASOs), professional employer organizations (PEOs) and staffing companies. He reviews and drafts employment agreements, covenants not to compete, and employee handbooks to ensure compliance with state and federal employment laws. He is also adept at responding to EEO and DOL inquiries, and has more than 20 years of experience in litigation defense. Berger routinely assists clients with employment law training needs for their HR personnel and front-line managers, ensuring that common areas of employment law liability are proactively identified and addressed. He has also served on NAPEO's Legal Advisory Council since 1998.
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