The area of employment litigation is a murky one although there are some areas which need to be firmed up in order for things to run more smoothly. In a recent development, regulators in Pennsylvania are supposedly coming up short in regulating the laws on the classification of workers, with some being incorrectly categorized as independent contractors.
There are a wide variety of reasons why firms may use these classifications. The main one seems to be that it will deny employees benefits and other things, which would be open to them if they were labeled as something else. This can allow firms to save money and some may say, callously manipulate the employees at their disposal.
However, the growing voice of discontent which surrounds this area could lead a lot of firms in the state to be at risk of legal action from firms that are concerned about employees’ rights. However, this may not be enough to remedy the obvious disadvantages surrounding this development.
The first is that the workers themselves obviously suffer as they have little impetus to fight back against their employers against these unjust conditions. This is a tough position to be in. Under the jurisdiction and stipulations of the law, independent contractors must have their own tools and can work without direct supervision from their employers. This can be risky on sites and workplaces where there are obvious dangers. The lack of enforcement of the law surrounding independent contractors is something, which can be quite detrimental to workers’ rights and not allow them to express themselves appropriately. This can lead them open to manipulation.
Furthermore, there may be economic ramifications of being involved in this sort of dispute with taxpayers seemingly being hit the hardest. There are uncollected income taxes, lack of pension contributions and just a general lack of being in the loop on financial matters, which can harm a taxpayer’s capacity to save and prepare for the future. This is not an attractive prospect and can leave many people in debt if the problem is not solved.
However, the problem does not seem like it is going to be solved in the future with many employers still carrying out this malpractice and making it hard for workers to have access to their rights. However, there is no doubt that a lack of enforcement surrounds the field also exacerbates matters with regulators being quite toothless in their enforcement of the law.
If this practice is allowed to carry on then many workers are at danger of being exploited and not receiving their proper working conditions, although some high-ranking government officials claim that some firms are facing criminal penalties in not adhering to the law. This sanction will have to become more widespread for it to have any effect.
Paula Robinson defend workers’ rights as a workers’ compensation attorney at Robinson Law