McAfee & Taft to host webinar on the rising costs of misclassifying independent contractors

McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma’s largest law firm, will host a live webinar on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from noon to 1pm, to discuss the increasing risks and potentially crippling financial consequences of misclassifying independent contractors.

“For years, we’ve been warning clients and employers about the dangers of misclassification,” said Charlie Plumb, an employment attorney with McAfee & Taft and a featured speaker for this webinar. “Businesses that improperly classify workers as independent contractors—whether intentional or not—may be responsible for back employment taxes, state tax withholding, unpaid workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance premiums, and penalties for noncompliance with wage and hour laws. Plus, the misclassified independent contractors may also be eligible for employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits, including paid time off.

“But the stakes have been raised even higher with the implementation of the new health care reform law. Beginning in 2014, in addition to all the liabilities that have already been in place, employers who misclassify even just one employee as an independent contractor now run the risk of being hammered with a ‘play or pay’ penalty assessed on the size of their entire workforce, which could be crippling for some companies.”

Plumb will be joined during the webinar by employee benefits attorney Brandon Long and tax attorney Keith Peters as they take a comprehensive look at all the issues and risks that come into play when misclassifying independent contractors and what practical steps businesses can do to take corrective action now.

McAfee & Taft is one of the nation’s 250 largest law firms as ranked by the National Law Journal and serves clients locally, nationally and internationally in the areas of aviation, business law, corporate and securities, employee benefits, entertainment law, environmental law, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, oil and gas, real estate and tax and family wealth. The firm employs nearly 350 Oklahomans, including 180 attorneys, and has offices in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa.