Uber could face Affordable Care Act penalties if drivers reclassified as employees

published in The Oklahoman | August 3, 2017

Lawsuits filed by workers who claim they are employees rather than independent contractors often seek compensation in the form of overtime, paid expenses and back wages. While these types of damages can be costly, the consequences of misclassifying workers extend much further. In a Q&A with The Oklahoman, employee benefits attorney Brandon Long weighed in on the liabilities associated with misclassifying workers from a benefits standpoint.

One example, he said, involves the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires large employers to either offer their full-time employees minimum essential health coverage or pay a penalty.

“If a large employer has a number of individuals who are classified as independent contractors when they are really employees, the employer is at risk of triggering the employer mandate because of the failure to offer health coverage to those individuals if those individuals are later reclassified as employees,” said Long.

He added that any benefit that is offered by an employer to an employee, including a retirement plan, would be implicated if an employer is found to have misclassified any of its workers.