CHICAGO – Illinois employers wrongly classified nearly 20,000 of their workers as independent contractors rather than full-time employees in 2013, skipping out on more than $250 million in wages and contributions to funds that support laid-off and injured workers, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today.
Taxpayers ultimately cover the costs of misclassified workers because it robs the state of payroll taxes normally removed from a worker’s paycheck. Those funds typically are not removed from payments given to independent contractors. In some cases, a homeowner could be responsible for costs incurred if a misclassified worker is injured while working on the owner’s dwelling.
“The consequences of misclassification are easy to see when a worker is hurt or an honest business owner is under-bid for a project. What hides in plain sight are the socialized costs that occur when a dishonest employer deceives a customer and cuts corners by not playing by the rules,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said.
“The labor movement is about creating strong communities and protecting workers from unscrupulous employers,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez. “Tactics like worker misclassification erodes that by violating workers’ employment and labor rights.”