The Missouri Department of Labor has put a test on their website to help employers determine whether they are misclassifying workers under Missouri law. Some employers incorrectly classify workers as independent contractors. This can result in many disadvantages to the workers. For example, a worker may not have the protections of the workers' compensation law. Further, the worker may suffer a greater tax burden, not to mention the fact that the misclassified worker may not be able to participate in their employer's health insurance program. Misclassification also hurts employers who are correctly paying their employment taxes, as it creates a higher cost to fund the unemployment program.
Some employers intentionally misclassify their employees as independent contractors, which is against the law. These employers are usually trying to avoid unemployment taxes, social security taxes, or health insurance mandates. An employer found guilty of knowingly misclassifying workers can face extremely stiff penalties and possible jail time.
Fortunately, the Missouri Department of Labor has developed an online assessment to help responsible employers determine whether they are classifying their employees and independent contractors correctly. Although taking the test is not a final determination, it is certainly a helpful tool to the employer who wants to know if they are violating the law by misclassifying a particular worker. Missouri employers--TAKE THE ASSESSMENT!