I’m stunned (but not really) when I see some really legit companies blatantly break the law.  I try to be a good person and have faith in others, but then you hear what they are doing and become cynical.

Case in point was a recent contact to my office who was looking for a referral to someone in our state wide network.  He was working as a driver for a company and his responsibilities were to drive the CEO around when she needed a ride and otherwise drive around other executives.  The company provided the car and did not allow him to drive for anyone else because they wanted him available whenever he was needed.  He at times just sat in a parked car, but mostly was driving or running some errands.

He was called an independent contractor by the company.  That might not piss you off, but it should as this allowed them to avoid payroll taxes.  This is cheating our Government which cheats all the citizens and companies who do the right thing and follow the law.

They also tried to cheat their employee because when he hurt his back pulling something out of the trunk, they told him that he wasn’t eligible for Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.  Despite all of that, when he got cleared to return to work, they told him that state law required him to see their doctor for approval.  What a crock!

Stuff like this gets my blood boiling.  I don’t know how they sleep at night when they are so blatantly full of it.

Bottom line is that they exercise a right of control over the driver. They provide the equipment, tell him where to go and restrict his ability to work for anyone else.  Really the only thing about him that says independent contractor is his pay, but that alone isn’t enough to make it true.  If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s not a kangaroo just because you want it to be.

I can’t even imagine how many workers who were truly employees have been screwed out of benefits because their employer made them think that they didn’t have an option.  They can mis-classify you all they want and that is their risk.  When it comes to benefits though for work injuries in Illinois, they aren’t allowed to pull a fast one to try to get out of following the law.  There is no loop hole and they should not be able to get away with it.