The Disabled Job Applicant
Employers may be exposed to liability under the Americans With Disability Act (“ADA”) for failing to hire job applicants because of medical conditions that have no effect on job performance. Most employers now realize the ADA was designed in part to prevent employers from firing employees due to disabilities. You have a disability under the ADA if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, performing manual tasks, or breathing. The Federal Law has specific guidelines designed to help employers in the interviewing process.
Independent Contractor vs. Employee
Businesses today often hire independent contractors over employees, however, the distinction is often blurred and liability may result not only to a third party but also to the Internal Revenue Service. In the event the Internal Revenue Service determines a worker is an employee and not an independent contractor, an employer may be charged with back payroll taxes, interest and penalties.
Once your company determines it will hire independent contractors, certain steps should be taken. It should be clear on the job application that the position is for an independent contractor. Next, all contracts should be in writing between the employer and the independent contractor. The contract should specify that the relationship between the parties is that of an independent contractor. Next, the relationship between the company and the independent contractor should be at arms length. The worker should be paid by the job rather than hourly or weekly.