You Work Too Hard to Let This Cost Your Business

You Work Too Hard to Let This Cost Your Business 2560 1707 Alicia East

Most companies go to great lengths to set up ethical and legally sound practices for nearly every aspect of their business. They’ll have lawyers involved in their contracts and accountants monitoring every penny that passes through their channels. Still, there’s one area where we often see otherwise-diligent companies fall short because they mistakenly think it’s worth the risks: worker classification and compliance. We’ll talk about why it happens, why it could cost a business deals, and how to shore up this aspect of your business.

The Unjustifiable Cost of Inaction/Lax Compliance Policies

In short: because Business A was lax in its business practices, Large Company B was found guilty by association in the court of public opinion.

If you commit a compliance violation that lands your affiliates in hot water, it tarnishes all parties’ reputations and can deter top-tier clients and investors from doing business with you. Businesses that prioritize accurate worker classification and compliance practices demonstrate their commitment to ethical and legal practices, which can be a significant selling point. The big dogs don’t want to run with someone that could compromise their standing.

Engaging The Right Partners Protects You And Your Affiliates

For many companies, especially those that engage a contingent workforce, an Employer of Record (EOR) is a critical entity that helps manage employment-related responsibilities such as payroll, benefits, and tax withholding. An EOR takes on most of the risk of ensuring compliance with labor laws, tax regulations, and worker classification standards on their clients’ behalf. To secure top-tier clients and protect your reputation, your business should prioritize compliance and worker classification standards. Wouldn’t you rather know that your affiliates will be found “safe, sound and compliant by association” instead of guilty?

The Bottom Line

Taking care in how you approach hiring/paying workers and investing any necessary resources to make sure you’re compliant with applicable regulations protects all involved parties. Maintaining compliance and worker classification standards is not just a legal obligation, but a strategic advantage. As a fundamental element of long-term business success, accurate worker classification and compliant practices deserve every business’s attention. Have questions? We’re here for you!

Mastering the Art of Hybrid Events: A Guide

Mastering the Art of Hybrid Events: A Guide 2560 1707 Alicia East

When done well, hybrid events combine the best of both in-person and virtual experiences and can bridge geographical gaps, engage diverse audiences, and amplify your reach and impact. But of course we know they aren’t all done well. Have you ever attended a virtual event that was little more than a one-angle live stream? That’s just not effective. Orchestrating a successful hybrid event requires extra work up front because you are, in essence, planning two events. In order to make it worthwhile, you really do need to plan a custom experience to accommodate both virtual and in-person dynamics.

Here Are 8 Key Strategies For Producing an Effective Hybrid Event

Define Your Objective And Ask Yourself The Right Questions

Before you make any other decisions, you should clearly define your objectives and ask yourself the right questions. Your answers to these questions will guide the rest of your decision-making, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right. Consider whether you are aiming to increase brand visibility, foster networking, or deliver educational content. From there, you can address how long your sessions will run, how many sessions you will host per day, and whether you will you have different sessions for virtual versus in-person attendees. For example, will you be hosting an in-person networking session that virtual attendees won’t experience? You can also consider whether you want to offer on-site perks like exclusive networking events, face-to-face interactions, and hands-on activities.

Choose Your Technology

It may seem overwhelming to essentially plan two events, but your technology partner can help immensely. Invest in virtual event software that offers live streaming, interactive Q&A sessions, virtual exhibitor booths, and networking lounges. Ensure that the technology seamlessly integrates the two experiences and provides a user-friendly interface for both in-person attendees and virtual participants. The tech has evolved to meet this demand, so you’re in luck!

Design Your Content

This may seem like the logical place to start, but having your above considerations in place allows you to create captivating content that meets your objectives and also works from a technology standpoint.  Craft a well-balanced agenda that includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions. Leverage technology to provide virtual participants access to real-time content, while also incorporating interactive elements such as polls, quizzes, and live chats. Encourage both audiences to submit questions and answer poll topics and provide outlets for them to interact with one another. Create opportunities for both in-person and virtual breakout sessions, so both have an opportunity to build community.

Tailor The Experience

A successful hybrid event hinges on catering to both in-person and virtual attendees and also integrating the two components. Ensure that the transition between the two is smooth by synchronizing schedules, coordinating speakers, and managing technical aspects effectively. Test all technology in advance to avoid any glitches during the event.

Provide Networking Opportunities

One of the best part of conferences and events is the networking and providing networking opportunities between both groups will be a major perk to your attendees. Facilitate networking by providing tools such as virtual meet-and-greets, and networking lounges. Encourage interactions among both groups, fostering connections that transcend physical boundaries.

Engage Virtual Participants

Keeping virtual participants engaged requires extra effort. Chances are, you’ve already attended something online where it was clear that the virtual experience was an afterthought. You might get something out of it, but there’s no doubt you could’ve gotten more if the virtual experience received equal consideration. Use techniques like gamification, live polls, and social media interactions to maintain virtual attendees’ attention and give them a worthwhile experience.

Consider Post-Event Engagement

Extend the impact of your hybrid event by maintaining engagement after it concludes. Provide on-demand access to event recordings, presentation materials, and other relevant resources. Encourage attendees to continue conversations on online platforms, fostering a sense of community that lasts beyond the event itself.

Gather Feedback and Analyze Data

Collect feedback from both in-person and virtual attendees to gain insights into their experiences. Analyze data on attendance, engagement, and interaction patterns to measure the success of different elements of your event. This information will be invaluable for refining your strategy for future hybrid events.

The Bottom Line

Your next hybrid event is a great opportunity to embrace the fusion of physical and digital realms. It can be a powerful tool for engagement, connectivity, and knowledge sharing. By setting clear objectives, leveraging technology, tailoring experiences, and prioritizing engagement, you can produce a hybrid event that maximizes its impact on both in-person and virtual attendees. The effort is worth it and one thing is for sure: When you wrap on a well-constructed hybrid event, you’ll earn any celebration you see fit and a good night’s sleep.

Three “Cheap” Things That Are Too Expensive (With Gifs)

Three “Cheap” Things That Are Too Expensive (With Gifs) 2560 2304 Alicia East

I love a good deal as much as any other Goodr-clad, middle-aged mom out there, but there are some cheap things I just won’t fork over any amount of money for. They just end up being too expensive.

Three “Cheap” Things That End up Being Too Expensive

High-Stakes Repairs: We recently had a leaky faucet. Since we’ve had a few basic YouTube-assisted home repairs under our belt, I stuck my head in the cabinets, and looked back and forth between the plumbing fixtures and the video. After multiple rounds of pausing and backing that thing up, I put the tools away and called the pros. If I’d carried on with my DIY repair, I ran the risk of doing more damage and ending up in the same place, but with a more expensive job. If the repair were lower stakes (i.e. not involving something like water or electricity), I might’ve endured a little longer. I’m just not gonna mess around with a repair that could turn our kitchen into a swimming pool or our house into the clock tower from Back to The Future. 

Low-Quality Products: I am very familiar with the allure of a deal, but it can be deceptive sometimes. For example, there’s a whole industry around fast fashion that is built to wear for Instagram one week and replace the next. But a little experience has served me well in this way and I’m much quicker to spend a premium for a product that will remain in my wardrobe for a few years and be the first I reach for every time I do laundry. That goes for clothes, home appliances, cars, and more. You’re just not gonna find me hanging out at many clearance racks anymore. They’re just too expensive.

One-Star Services: Have you ever hired the cheapest company and had to bring someone else in to redo the job when the work is subpar? I hear about it all the time. I don’t care how good the quality is of an iPhone camera, for example. If you don’t have a skilled operator behind it, you’re not going to get a professional-looking result. I promise you won’t be happy with the result if you hire an event videographer who has an expensive camera but puts as much care into their composition as your Aunt Janet puts into her Facebook posts. Sometimes, a premium service is worth setting aside the budget for. Counterintuitively, it could end up saving you money in the long run because you get it done right the first time.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that sometimes the “cheap” option turns out to be quite expensive after all. In what areas have you found this to be true? Do you agree with my top picks? What would you add to the list?


Here’s What Employers Are Responsible For During Record-Breaking Heat

Here’s What Employers Are Responsible For During Record-Breaking Heat 2560 1707 Alicia East

Early this week, a lightning storm caused a power outage in our area just as we were getting ready to eat dinner. We lit the candles, made a game of it with the kids, and tried to keep our refrigerator closed as much as possible. We endured a restless, sticky night without AC or fans and by morning, the novelty had worn off. We were just wishing hard for a hot cup of coffee and some refreshing air to flow through the vents. Our kids gave a big “Our lights can work!” celebration when we heard the devices ding and the HVAC system kick on around 8:15 AM.

It was a muggy morning from the nights’ storm and the temperatures were climbing. As I drove through my neighborhood shortly after, I was rerouted by the crew that had likely just fixed our power lines. They were working on the next downed line. They didn’t have the luxury of waiting for cooler temps. There were other families like ours, hoping the power would come back on before they were forced to make a random lunch of burgers, biscuits, and açaí bowls from their thawing freezers. I felt for them and it also made me hope the power company was taking its responsibility to protect them seriously.

Record-breaking heat waves are hitting Texas and beyond and there is just so much outdoor work that has to happen anyway. Unfortunately, heat-related illnesses are dangerous to all of us. It can land even the youngest and strongest members of that crew in the hospital with very little warning. If your company requires workers to be outdoors, you are responsible for providing adequate protections and preventing the conditions that cause heat stroke rather than only thinking about worker safety after something goes wrong.

As we head into the hottest months of summer, it’s a good time to talk about workplace safety. While your workers’ health is a good enough reason to take extra measures, addressing safety risks can also prevent fines and lawsuits.

Worker Safety in Extreme Heat

Protecting workers—especially those who spend extended time outdoors—requires a little extra forethought and attention. Staying compliant with OSHA’s guidelines on Occupational Heat Exposure prevents workers from getting preventable heat related illnesses. And of course that comes with a major bonus: keeping your workers from missing work and you from getting fined. Ensure worker safety so neither you nor your employees end up paying the price.

Proactive measures include getting all of your shade and hydration stations set up in the relative cool of the morning and instituting mandatory breaks with plenty of hydration. Stick to those breaks regardless of your schedule.

An on-site manager should be trained to monitor the heat index as well as the associated risks and to watch for and recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA), “Persons suffering from heat exhaustion might have cool, moist skin; sweat heavily; or complain of headache, nausea or lightheadedness.”

Bottom Line

I suspect the power company was getting a lot of calls and feeling the pressure of their consumers who’d endured a long night without power. Still, watching out for their workers’ safety has to be top priority. It’s not just about staying compliant with the letter of the law, but about truly doing right by the workers. Even if you can push them a little further to get the job done faster, it’s worth going above and beyond to provide a safe environment.


Waiting For Your Big Break? 3 Ways to be in Position For it.

Waiting For Your Big Break? 3 Ways to be in Position For it. 2560 1707 Alicia East

Jennifer Garner thought she was going to be a stage actor and only took her first TV role because she was flat broke. She also slept on a futon in some woman’s kitchen for 9 months while she was waiting (and working her tail off!) to hit her stride. She now has an IMDB page a mile long. You never know what will be your life’s best stepping stone. What you can do is be in position to take advantage of the breaks that come your way.

If you feel like you need a change or you’re looking for a career pivot, read on. Even if your current role isn’t everything you want it to be, it’s time to think differently about where you are now. It could be a stepping stone for where you want to be next. 

Three Ways to be in Position For Your Big Break:

1. See every role as a chance to sharpen your skills or try on different roles.

Jennifer Garner didn’t expect to become a screen actress, but taking a small TV role led her down the path that landed her in every American’s living room. Whether you’re just starting out and finding your way or you’re well established, but feeling a little stale, stay open minded.

Take each role you accept as a chance to get paid to figure out what you’re interested in and get some experience while you’re at it. As you go, you’ll find your lane. Then you can either keep running in that lane or take those finely-tuned skills to your next full-time job. Highly-skilled, well-rounded workers have a leg up on the competition.

2. Think of every role as a paid audition.

Even if you don’t land your dream job right away, anything that gets your foot in the door could end up being the story you tell of how you got your big break. If you love a business’s culture or brand, be open to a less desirable role and just see where it leads. You get to learn what you like with companies and people you enjoy and then have a built-in connection for future opportunities. If you do well enough on your “audition,” you’ll be in position for more work in the future. From there, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to accept an opportunity or keep working for yourself. The power is in your hands.

3. Make connections. 

Once you’ve shown yourself as a reliable, positive teammate, the world opens up. People talk about you and you organically build a robust network that includes both decision makers and people in related fields.

The Bottom Line

Many factors determine what career path is the right fit for your life. It’s rare you’ll start out in a dream role, but a not-so-great role may be exactly the thing that allows you to live the life you want to live. For others, one role might be the right thing, but only for a season. After a brief walk down one road, you may take all your experience and do a complete u-turn. Whether your current role is a stepping stone to your dream position or the long-term career path you didn’t even know you wanted, the best time to go for it is right now. 

Is Your Workplace Evolving? Get Back to Basics.

Is Your Workplace Evolving? Get Back to Basics. 2560 1707 Alicia East

In the movie Miracle, Coach Herb Brooks transforms a ragtag group of individuals from rival schools into the unlikely winners of an Olympic gold medal. During tryouts, many of the United States’ top hockey players made a show of their fancy skating. While some of the would-be Olympians hoped to be superstars, Coach Herb Brooks had something less glamorous in mind. He was building a team and picked the players he felt could come together and perform as such. He knew he would be going up against teams that had been playing together for years. He wouldn’t be able to compete in most aspects of the game. So he started with the basics: conditioning and building a team-oriented mindset. 

We’ve seen the workplace evolve as employees disperse to their home offices and fancy devices and face-to-face interactions yield to app-based means of communication. While we can’t predict all of the ways the workplace will continue to change, we know it will. Like our young, scrappy team from the 1980’s that went back to the basics, there are a few tried and true fundamental workplace principles that remain no matter what the changes bring.  A cohesive team will always have a team culture and effective communication. 

Whenever we get a little sideways or start to feel the distance growing between team members, divisions, and workers with various statuses, we can always come back to the basics and work on the human side of our business and shore up our communication as well. 

We’ve collected some resources for cohesively knitting teams with different structures. 

Taking Care of People/Team-building 

7 Ways to Make Employees Feel Respected

The Best Managers Are “Connectors”

Is Your Hybrid Team Losing Steam?

When Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Fixing a Self-Sabotaging Team


Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle 

4 Distractions That Derail Meetings–And How to Handle Them

How to Design an Agenda For an Effective Meeting

Storytelling That Moves People

An Antidote to Microaggressions? Microvalidations. 

Bottom Line 

You can weather a lot of storms well if your foundation is solid. For a well-functioning business, that foundation is going to be built on taking care of your people and effective communication. What are your tried and true principles/tactics you always come back to?

Artificial Intelligence: The Month’s Top Headlines

Artificial Intelligence: The Month’s Top Headlines 2560 1920 Alicia East

There’s more to the AI conversation than the alarmist “It’s coming for your jobs” headlines. Fair warning: I did include one of those here, but there’s so much more to the story. Read on for a little intro for everything from the basics (i.e. what is it?) to the ethical concerns and how it’s affecting jobs, healthcare, and more.

AI in The News: Our Top Ten Picks

  1. Read this Washington Post article if you’re looking for an introduction to how AI works, the issues ethicists are wrestling with, and the companies leading the way in the recent AI boom.
  2. Read this Technology Review article if you’re looking for some positive news about how AI can be used to defend against Cybersecurity concerns.
  3. This Forbes article captures the alarmist “It’s Coming For Your Job” tone you’ve probably already seen. Be warned: it’s designed to make you feel a little unsettled about your future.
  4. But this one, also from Forbes, addresses AI’s limitations in hiring.
  5. This one, from the BBC, also approaches the topic with optimism, citing examples of people using the technology to advance their careers and creative processes.
  6. This article addresses AI from an investment standpoint.
  7. Read this one for news about “Apple’s Ambitions for AI.”
  8. The post addresses how AI affects Photoshop/Adobe.
  9. If you’re interested in how AI will affect healthcare, check out this post and this one.
  10. Read this for a taste of how lawmakers are thinking about addressing the legal concerns that come with this evolving technology.

Fight For Your Work/Life Balance: Your Work Will be Better For it

Fight For Your Work/Life Balance: Your Work Will be Better For it 2560 1707 Alicia East

Hustle culture is losing its appeal with younger generations. But while they value the idea of having a work/life balance, they’re bad at it. Still, having a robust non-office life might counterintuitively benefit your work one. According to Mental Health America, “When workers are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.” So whether your motivation is just to enjoy life more or to be better at your job, it’s worth fighting for your work/life balance.

Work/Life Balance is Harder Than Ever

Conference rooms, spontaneous conversations at the proverbial water cooler, and in-person meetings are simply not necessary for many work situations any more. With Slack, Zoom, and other digital communications taking over, much of our work is no longer tied to a physical location. That has some benefits. On the other hand, most of us no longer have the luxury of clocking out and leaving our work behind. That makes establishing a work/life balance incredibly difficult. How many times have you responded to a work request while putting your kids to bed or having lunch with a friend?

No longer having a forced separation between work and home means it’s a lot easier to ping someone with a random thought or question late at night or on the weekend when you aren’t risking waking their kids with at 9 PM phone call. Shooting off an email or a text at 9 PM is socially acceptable and reading work communications as you’re going to bed or first thing in the morning is often expected.

A “delayed” response of even 10 minutes can cause concern. Now, it almost seems like you literally have to go underground (on the subway) or take a flight to get a break from electronic communications. All our “time savers” eat away at more and more of our time.

Establish Work/Life Balance

It’s worth making balance a priority though. We all know the basics: Snooze Slack when you’re done for the day. Turn off your notifications. Take frequent breaks from the computer, etc.. But have you tried locking your phone in a safe? Sometimes that’s what it seems like it would take to get a true break.

The reality is you may not always be able to avoid working odd hours or catching up after a busy day home with sick kids. So if you must do work outside of regular hours, you can take some steps to respect your coworkers’ balance, too. Use your schedule send option. It’s the best! Instead of sending at 1 AM, schedule an email to send at 8 AM the next day. It’s a small, but worthwhile way to show respect for their time and prevent conditioning them to expect you to work at all hours.

Chances are, if you are so bold as to want a life outside of work, you’ll get a little pushback, but maybe not from where you expect. You’ll likely encounter the most resistance from yourself. Sure, there may be some unreasonable bosses, clients, and coworkers out there, but most understand that a work/life balance is NOT about being lazy or doing less than satisfactory work. It’s more about living in a way that positions you to give your best in every area. Consider what kind of life you want to have and whether your current situation reflects your values. If not, then you can read some of the (many) articles about how to establish a work/life balance.

The Bottom Line

With the current level of access, it takes discipline to have boundaries. Fight for your work/life balance and respect others’ boundaries, too. Everything will be better for it, including your work.

Your Secret Weapon For Eliminating Red Tape For Hiring (a Quiz)

Your Secret Weapon For Eliminating Red Tape For Hiring (a Quiz) 2560 1920 Alicia East

For companies that hire a lot of freelancers, an Employer of Record (EOR) can be a lifesaver—or at least save some headaches if not literal lives. A partner for handling hiring temporary workers can be a key to avoiding fines and court dates by keeping businesses out of trouble. An employer of record is defined as “a company or organization that is legally responsible for paying employees, including dealing with employee taxes, benefits, insurance, etc.”

As such, an EOR deals with the administrative problems and mountains of paperwork that come with hiring, paying, and insuring workers. Outsourcing parts of business that require extremely-specialized skills and those that deal with risk and compliance can be a very wise business move. These issues have very high stakes and a partner is required when devoting the time and resources toward doing the job right simply isn’t feasible. Keeping your workforce happy and paid on time/with accuracy is also crucial to maintaining a happy workforce. In addition, the laws are always changing and audits, fines, and penalties follow when airtight systems and processes are not in place. An EOR keeps everything running as it should and serves as the employer. As such, it takes on many of the related responsibilities and liabilities while employees work for another company.

Would an EOR Benefit Your Business?

  1. Does hiring new workers slow you down when you’re trying to accomplish a goal or staff an event?
  2. Do you have a lot of freelance hiring needs on tight deadlines?
  3. Does freelance payroll management cause your team headaches?
  4. Would maintaining current headcount when engaging freelancers save you trouble?
  5. Do you have compliance concerns?
  6. Does your staff need refreshers on workers’ comp and necessary insurance for contractors every time you hire freelancers?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might consider whether an EOR would help you. In addition to easing the above concerns, an EOR turns a mountain of hiring paperwork into a molehill and handles certificates of insurance, I-9s, and E-verify forms. They also terminate employees when necessary, administer benefits, and conduct background checks and drug screenings.

Bottom Line

Not every company needs an EOR, but for those who do, it’s a game changer. We find clients benefit greatly from partnering with an EOR when they need help onboarding or don’t have the capacity to handle hiring-related HR issues. Since PayReel specializes in these services, we have systems in place to make everything as efficient and smooth as possible. Sometimes, having an EOR in position can be the difference between staffing and finishing projects on time and tanking a project before it really even gets off the ground. If you think you might benefit, reach out to PayReel and we’ll talk through solutions for your unique situation.

Do You Have Workers in Oregon? 

Do You Have Workers in Oregon?  2560 1707 Alicia East

Engaging independent contractors comes with a high level of responsibility no matter where you are. Still, some states have a reputation for being especially risky. Oregon is one of those and any business that engages independent contractors in Oregon must take extra care to stay compliant with worker classification and labor laws. 

Some employers like having more employees, feeling it gives workers more ownership in the company’s success. Others say it makes their business model unsustainable. Whether a worker performs work outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business is the main determination for which workers qualify as independent contractors. 

Some companies have restructured operations completely to avoid hiring more W2 employees (new laws have a way of precipitating new ways to get around said laws). Another way to avoid reclassifying is simply to operate business as usual and wait to be challenged. Smaller companies have been known to get away with this approach indefinitely. It’s risky, but it does happen.

Worker Classification in Oregon

While Democratic and Republican governments have decidedly different approaches to worker classification, the recent trend is going in the direction of making it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, with democratic administrations prioritizing accurate worker classification and punishing employers that don’t comply. 

Federal legislation is one thing and then states have their own rules. Companies that engage workers in Oregon need to be in position to observe Oregon’s worker classification rules. Violators can face penalties such as fines, possible jail time, and damage to their reputations. 

Why Does The Department of Labor Care?

Independent contractors have been known to write off business expenses and sometimes underreport income, small businesses have avoided certain taxes with fewer W2 employees, and independent contractors are more difficult to track and tax accurately than W2 employees. In California’s Dynamex decision, the court identified some of the challenges misclassification causes, saying it is “a very serious problem, depriving federal and state governments of billions of dollars in tax revenue.” 

What About The Workers?

Oregon’s approach to worker classification (among other topics) purportedly intends to protect workers and many consider Oregon one of the most worker-friendly states. 

Still, some independent contractors have been unhappy with the changes and expressed concern for their livelihood. Even if all the perks afforded an employee (healthcare, time off, etc.) bring them close to their original pay in practice, their paycheck may look a lot smaller on the surface. Many industries have been granted exemptions, indicating that, as always, there is no simple cut and dry to an issue this complicated. 

Independent contractors set their own schedule and manage their own businesses. While ICs are still responsible for paying taxes, they can also take advantage of many write-offs. Along with the perks, they do have the responsibilities that come with owning their own business. They run their own books, pay quarterly taxes, advertise, purchase their own equipment, and deal with the seasonal nature of business. Independent contractors also don’t get paid time off and are responsible for purchasing their own health insurance.

Some workers prefer the stability and possibility for advancement that come with having a greater presence at the office and familiarity with the ins and outs of the company.

What Best Practices Mitigate Worker Classification Risks in Oregon?

Unless a company is made up 100% of full-time employees, this subject is relevant to operations. Failure to classify employees correctly could result in fines, back taxes, and even jail time. Stay well on top of worker classification rules and know the exemptions that may apply to your industry. Of course, if your business doesn’t have the bandwidth to stay on top of everything, engaging a partner is an excellent option. Working with an Employer of Record (EOR) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is standard best practice in this evolving freelancer economy. 

While both provide payroll and insurance services, the differentiating factor is that an EOR relieves employers of much of the regulatory risk involved in working with independent contractors while a PEO operates as a co-employer and does not assume the employment risk.

What Are The Stakes for Mistakes? 

Big companies like Uber make headlines for their missteps and pay equally big fines for their worker classification choices. Still, it can be a costly mistake to think it’s only the big companies that face consequences. By rescinding the Trump Administration’s “Worker Classification Rule,” the Biden administration made it easier for workers to argue for minimum wage and overtime protections/compensation. In addition to having to pay back 100% of the matching FICA taxes they would have paid had they classified the worker correctly up front, employers can end up subject to additional penalties such fines for each W-2 form they fail to file, penalties equal to 1.5% of the employee’s wages, and a $5,000 penalty for the first misclassified employee and up to $25,000 for each subsequent violation

Suffice to say, misclassifying workers does not save money in the long run. Perhaps scarier than the possibility of monetary damages, misclassification has landed some business leaders under house arrest. 

In addition, class-action lawsuits, failed audits, and negative headlines can damage a company’s reputation to the point where both workers and consumers are hesitant to engage with a company. It’s just not worth it!     

Bottom Line 

The most common mistake when engaging contractors in Oregon is misclassifying workers. Being lax about any risk and compliance issues is a danger to your operations. As the economic landscape shifts and independent contractors rise in prevalence, the financial stakes and potential for missed revenue rise, too. Government agencies such as the IRS and DOL will continue to ramp up their focus on the subject. States are also attempting to crack down on misclassification while tightening the reins on training requirements, and payroll guidelines.

There’s big money in class action lawsuits and new cases are always brewing. Fear doesn’t serve you well, but businesses should be very, very conscientious when engaging independent contractors in Oregon. A high level of vigilance protects your business. It’s worth doing whatever it takes to stay compliant and reduce the risk for fines and unpleasant attention from the IRS.

When is Engaging a Partner a Good Idea?

If you don’t have the in-house capacity to do it yourself, it’s worth engaging a partner. Doing business in Oregon is complicated and the consequences for errors can be very damaging. While the onus is on employers to classify workers correctly and stay in line with the state’s changing requirements, the right partner can make a rocky landscape smooth.

For PayReel, accurate worker classification and top-notch risk management are always the priority. We strive to stay aware of changes in the regulatory climate, monitoring state and federal regulations to the best of our ability

If you think a partner would help your business stay compliant, contact us now.