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Independent Contractor vs. Employee:
How to Classify with Confidence

In this 75-minute training, you will learn how to:

  • Classify with confidence.

    No bright-line definition of “independent contractor” exists and a mistake can be disastrous.

  • Understand the new federal and state law changes.

    The back-and-forth guidelines are being rewritten again … in Washington and the states.

  • Avoid the IRS/DOL crackdown.

    The agencies’ massive “misclassification initiative” is targeting employers who make even innocent mistakes.

Independent contractor status exploded during the pandemic … but so did the risks

The most basic question about the employment relationship—whether a worker is an “employee” or “independent contractor”—has baffled HR and employers for years. You can save big on taxes, benefits and liability by using contractors, but the risk of misclassifying them is huge … and getting worse. A massive “Misclassification Initiative” launched by the IRS and DOL is targeting employers with more audits and closer scrutiny.

At the same time, the definition of an independent contractor keeps changing. The Trump administration drafted a brand-new “economic reality” test to make it easier for you to treat workers as contractors. Now the Biden administration has shelved those rules and is planning a new definition this year. Where does that leave employers? And how must you comply with your state’s often stricter and contradictory guidelines?

If you classify any workers as independent contractors (or plan to do so), now is the time to make sure you get that classification correct and understand the upcoming changes. Discover your classification mistakes BEFORE the feds do!

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Agenda for Independent Contractor vs. Employee

  • How to create independent contractor relationships that meet current IRS, DOL, NLRB and state agency requirements.
  • How to legally make the case-by-case determination of an employee’s status that will stand up in court.
  • Now that the Trump guidelines have been shelved, what is the DOL’s current definition of a contractor—and what changes are coming?
  • The benefits of using independent contractors (same work, lower costs, fewer hassles) and the risks (reclassifications leading to huge tax, wage and benefit payments).
  • COVID-19 developments affecting independent contractors, such as eligibility for unemployment compensation.
  • Why the feds are cracking down now, what they're looking for and how you can achieve compliance.
  • What to expect in 2021 from the federal government and the states on this issue.
  • The key factors the DOL and IRS consider (and you should, too) in making classification decisions.
  • Important court cases that help draw a brighter line between contractors and employees.
  • The steps you should take to safely manage independent contractors.
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Greg Guidry is a shareholder with Ogletree Deakins, based in Lafayette, Louisiana. He has successfully represented management in all phases of labor and employment law throughout the United States for over 35 years. A significant percentage of his practice involves defending and advising clients on misclassification issues. He is the president of the national Management Labor & Employment Roundtable, is a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and has been listed for many years in Best Lawyers in America directory in the labor and employment law field.

Greg Guidry
Greg Guidry Ogletree Deakins

Jennifer Trulock is a partner at Baker Botts in Dallas, where she is chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. Jennifer graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and she represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law. Jennifer also counsels and trains employers on managing workplace issues and preventing employment lawsuits.

Jennifer Trulock
Jennifer Trulock Baker Botts

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Professional Certification Credit Hours Included:

This program is valid for 1.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.


The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

We promise you'll be satisfied.

If Independent Contractor vs. Employee: How to Classify with Confidence fails to meet your needs in any way, we will refund every penny you paid – no hassles, no questions asked.