Misclassification of workers in the healthcare field is a hot issue and it is an area where many practices make a misstep leading to potential exposure involving the Department of Labor (DOL). Many practices treat physicians, doctors, dentists, therapists or similar professionals as independent contractors instead of as employees. The New York State DOL can investigate your practice’s workforce classifications. Depending on the circumstances this can raise some legal concerns. The New York Court of Appeals decision, In Re Concourse Ophthalmology Associates P.C., 469 N.Y.S.2d 78 (1983) discusses the proper employment status for multiple ophthalmologists working in a professional corporation. The court issued the following test for medical providers in determining whether an employee-employer relationship exists for purposes of the Unemployment Insurance Law:
In general, the more control that a practice exerts over the work environment it is more likely to lead to a finding of an employer-employee relationship. It is important to get legal counsel from the beginning of the working relationship with a professional so a misclassification error is not made. If a misclassification error is made, a practice can face, among other things, unpaid taxes, penalties, fines and be subject to further government investigation. It can also be subject to a lawsuit by the workers for misclassification. Proactive steps are critical and can save a practice a lot of money and heartache. Contact our Award Winning NY Employment Law Attorney for a confidential consultation on your specific situation.
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