As discussed in our last blog post, states have increasingly churned out laws on independent contractor classification. To better arm you, here’s a list of hard-hit states.

As a company that hires independent contractors (IC), you may be familiarizing yourself with the IRS’s standards for classifying them. In doing so, it comes as a surprise to many organizations that they need to start concerning themselves with their state’s laws as well. States are picking up the pace and starting to pass or alter laws that revolve around what makes an IC and IC.

The owner of a small business, D’Ann’s Restaurant in Abington, MA, unknowingly cooked up a storm: he is on the hook for $150,000 after a payroll outsourcing company paid the employees as independent contractors in violation of federal labor laws.

At a recent contingent workforce conference, someone remarked on a common yet misunderstood scenario: why independent consultants resist payrolling. The “expert” opinion being advanced was that the consultants in question must have shady ulterior motives such as tax evasion for wanting to remain self-employed. They challenged me to come up with “one good reason” why law-abiding independent consultants would ever refuse to be payrolled. Even better – I’ll offer not just one good reason, but eight reasons, why independent contractors hate payrolling . . .

Nearly two years after winning an independent contractor classification lawsuit, WWE’s worries are not yet over. The Stamford, CT based World Wrestling Entertainment has been called back to the mat, this time by Connecticut, to audit for alleged misclassification of workers as independent contractors (1099s) instead of W2 employees. [See our past coverage of the WWE lawsuit here.] It’s a little bit like double jeopardy, with a twist: because worker classification is determined under different criteria for different purposes . . .

If you’ve been watching the most recent economic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, then you know we are now entering the era of the independent consultant. Over 68% of the hiring and jobs creation that has happened over the last year has been contract-based, not so-called “permanent” jobs. And the fastest growing segment of that contract-based workforce is composed of independent contractors. There you have it: Independent Contractors are one of the most critical talent segments to harness, and yet . . .

Five year plans are nothing new — all the rage since 1928 and the favored mode of strategic, centralized planning for all your favorite well-known bureaucracies. But while Five Year Plans are a dime a dozen these days, the latest one to hit the newswire — this one from the United States Department of Labor — has businesses sitting up and taking notice. The DOL released their strategic plan targeting worker misclassification as a top priority. Employee misclassification is when a business wrongly classifies and pays workers as independent contractors (Form 1099) rather than hiring them as actual employees (Form W2) . . .

In a renewed effort to change independent contractor laws and fight misclassification, Senators Kerry and McDermott introduced a new bill this week in Congress. We haven’t gotten access to the bill yet, but according to the press release about the Fair Playing Field Act of 2010, it’s similar to the last bill these congressmen introduced to fight the misclassification of employee workers as independent contractors. Last year, Kerry proposed the Taxpayer Responsibility, Accountability, and Consistency Act of 2009. In addition to removing the Section 530 Safe Harbor provision . . .

Although contract talent — including independent contractors, temporary workers, Statement of Work consultants and other contingent labor categories — was important to organizations before the Great Recession, all indicators point to the role of this segment of the workforce as being more critical than ever before. And as the strategic importance of properly using independent contractors grows, organizations that use them are looking for increasingly better ways of managing them . . .

If you paid attention to Aberdeen Group’s 2010 Contingent Labor Study, “Strategies for Managing the Complexities of the Contingent Labor Umbrella,” you know how groundbreaking it is. For the first time, we have research going far beyond traditional staff augmentation, exploring the extent to which independent contractors, statement of work consultants, and project spend is utilized in enterprises, and how organizations are managing these segments of the contingent workforce. Well, coming up this September 22, don’t miss the opportunity to get a live walk-through of the research from the study’s author, Christopher Dwyer . . .