House passes bill to clarify worker classification

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would make easier for Missouri employers to determine when a person is an employee versus an independent contractor.

House Bill 1642 is sponsored by Rep. Kurt Bahr, a Republican from St. Charles. It would task the Missouri Department of Labor with creating a clear and concise rule for defining “independent contractor” and a procedure for changing an individual classification from an independent contractor to an employee.

This clarification is critical because worker classification disputes can be time consuming and expensive for employers to resolve.

Under the bill, employers would have 60 days to comply with the reclassification of an employee following an audit, without being fined or assessed back taxes.

The legislation also gives employers the opportunity to request an opinion letter from the DOL regarding worker classification, which would protect the employer from future fines if the department subsequently determines that the person is an employee.

For more information on labor issues, contact Tracy King, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, at tking@mochamber.com, or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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