Employee misclassification enforcement

Illinois steps up employee misclassification enforcement    

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced a new initiative to step up enforcement against employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors. The Illinois Department of Labor, Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Illinois Department of Revenue, and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission are working jointly to increase awareness, help responsible business owners obey the law, and punish fraud.

“Hiding a full-time employee as an independent contractor creates an unfair competitive advantage. It artificially lowers the costs for the business owner who breaks the law, undermining and out-bidding the honest business owner who follows the rules,” Governor Quinn said. “This initiative rewards those who do it right and punishes those who knowingly do it wrong.”

To be considered an independent contractor, a worker must:

  • Be substantially free from control or direction;
  • Provide services that lie outside the normal scope of the contracting business; and
  • Be engaged in an independently established business or occupation.

Employers breaking the law could face fines of at least $10,000, up to 24 percent interest on unpaid unemployment compensation taxes, unpaid minimum wages and overtime, and other taxes and benefits. Officers and employees of businesses in Illinois that willfully misclassify workers can be held personally liable for payments due, IDES noted. Detailed instructions on properly classifying workers are available at

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