We have talked with so many families and prospective home care clients about the dangers of “independent contractors” who really are not and referral agencies that offer no protection to senior clients and families.
The issues include no liability insurance, dishonesty bonds, background checks, unemployment insurance and on and so forth. Partially because of the economy the last couple of years, we are now seeing government, both state and federal, get a lot more interested in the issue.
Several months ago, The New York Times published an article, “U.S. Cracks Down on ‘Contractors’ as a Tax Dodge“. It indicates that:
Federal and state officials, many facing record budget deficits, are starting to aggressively pursue companies that try to pass off regular employees as independent contractors.
President Obama’s 2010 budget assumes that the federal crackdown will yield at least $7 billion over 10 years. More than two dozen states also have stepped up enforcement, often by enacting stricter penalties for misclassifying workers.
Interestingly, this emphasis is being supported by organized labor, one of the Obama administration’s major supporters.
Another article was published in March by The Wall Street Journal, titled, “Cash & Career: The Perils of ‘Off the Book’ Jobs”.
The bottom line is that “referral agencies” that do not operate honestly and caregivers who claim to be “independent contractors” but are not doing the right things are increasingly the focus of the IRS and state tax and employment agencies. it does not stop there, however, because the people who hire — and that is the right word, because the seniors and their families will be seen as the employers of record in many cases — are going to be on the hook for Social Security, Workers Comp claims and insurance and a whole lot more.
That is just not right, and we wish all businesses — and individuals — would operate ethically and legally. The home care industry would be so much better.
Your thoughts? Best wishes, Bert