Worker classification has long been an area only vaguely understood by many employers. The law is not only not settled, it’s unclear, going all the way back to the common law of England.

Of course, there are benefits to treating a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee. It allows the employer to avoid FICA and FUTA matching, and income tax withholding. And workers may be motivated to be misclassified as independent contractors so that they can be paid in cash, avoid withholding of taxes, or avoid proving immigration status.

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