[messengers] Misclassification of Independent Contracto rs – Happy 2012!

Date: 16 Jan 2012 21:12:46 +0100
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>

Last Messenger Appreciation Day (October 9, 2011) California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 459 (SB 459) that imposes strict penalties on employers who willfully misclassify workers as independent contractors as well as advisors (excluding lawyers) who knowingly counsel employers to engage in willful misclassification.
This new law came into effect on January 1, 2012. It adds Sections 226.8 and 2753 to the California Labor Code.
Section 226.8 prohibits the willful (“voluntarily and knowingly”) misclassification of a worker as an independent contractor. It also prohibits employers from charging misclassified individuals for items such as  materials, space rental, services, government licenses, repairs, equipment maintenance, or fines arising from the individual’s employment.
Penalties include fines of $5,000 to $10,000 for first the violation and up to $25,000 for repeat violations.
It also includes other penalties such as ordering an employer to post a notice on its website for a year, stating that the “employer has committed a serious violation of the law,” has changed its business practices to comply and   The notice must be posted for a year and must invite misclassified employees  to contact the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Section 2753 states:
(a) A person who, for money or other valuable consideration, knowingly advises an employer to treat an individual as an independent contractor to avoid employee status for that individual shall be jointly and severally liable with the employer if the individual is found not to be an independent contractor.
However attorneys are exempted from this provision.

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