February 17, 2020

February 14, 2020

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Where Does Wisconsin Stand On Independent Contractors? It Depends!

With recent guidance from the federal Department of Labor (DOL) regarding independent contractors, employers have more incentive to review their current pool of contractors to ensure they are properly classified as such. For more information about the DOL guidance on independent contractors, see our July 15, 2015 post.

In Wisconsin, different tests govern whether an individual is considered an independent contractor for different laws. The test to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor for purposes of worker’s compensation is different than that for unemployment insurance. There is a separate test for the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act governing workplace discrimination, and yet another test for wage and hour issues in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has posted a useful online tool to help employers navigate these multiple tests.

Recently, DWD updated its page regarding the test for wage and hour issues to say: “The Labor Standards Bureau also follows interpretations of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in this regard.” There is now a link to the DOL guidance issued earlier this month.

A review of classification status of individuals currently identified as independent contractors is prudent. Done correctly, employers can manage risk associated with changes in status and work with their partners as employees or properly-identified contractors for continued success.

Copyright © 2020 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.


About this Author

Thomas O'Day, Health Care Attorney, Godfrey & Kahn Law Firm
Special Counsel

Tom O’Day is a member of the Labor & Employment and Health Care Practice Groups in the Madison Office. Tom’s practice focuses on advising and representing employers in every aspect of labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis in employment law in health care settings.

Tom provides counseling to employers on the full range of human resource and employment law challenges confronted by employers, including the hiring and firing of employees, drafting and enforcing restrictive covenant agreements, litigating federal and state...