Businesses Address New Unemployment Options for Independent Contractors

Construction Executive
April 2020

New York’s Richard Reibstein and Janet Barsky, members of Locke Lord’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and the Firm’s Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance team, co-authored an article for Construction Executive, a publication from the Associated Builders and Contractors, examining how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) benefit independent contractors in the building and construction industry. Reibstein and Barsky note that in this industry, “relatively little work can be performed remotely, and the work designated as an ‘essential’ service by state governors has been mostly limited to critical infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety. Independent contractors, therefore, have joined the ranks of those who have applied to state unemployment offices for out-of-work benefits.”

Reibstein and Barsky outline steps that companies can take to respond effectively to unemployment claims filed by independent contractors who mistakenly claim benefits as employees and how to minimize the likelihood of an audit by state workforce agencies as to whether similarly situated workers have been properly classified under the test for independent contractor status under a state’s unemployment law.

To read the full article, click here.