State seeks cheating employers


March 3, 2015



ATLANTA — An untold number of Georgians are working when and where their bosses say, but instead of getting the benefits of employees, they are classified as contractors.

Some say that hurts the employee, the government and law-abiding companies. Now, the state Legislature is starting to listen.

State Rep. Ronnie Mabra, D-Fayetteville, is an attorney who said his law firm hires employees but also works with contractors. He told a House of Representatives panel that he respects the difference, but other employers are known to cheat and put workers in the wrong category.

“We have the issue where employers are misclassifying employees and independent contractors,” Mabra said Tuesday.

What that means is some employers set tight rules on the people who work for them but cut their own payroll tax bills by hiring the workers as contractors instead of as employees.

Misclassification is “pretty widespread,” said Ted Terry, state campaign director at the Georgia AFL-CIO. Some cable installers, construction workers, stagehands and even security guards at strip clubs are frequently used as employees but classified as contractors, Terry said