[These are articles are for information purposes only and are not intended for legal or tax advice. They provide general information about 1099 and W-2 Employment classifications as they relate to different states. While efforts are made to ensure accuracy and completeness, it's critical that anyone seeking advice or up-to-date information on these topics consult their own independent tax or employment lawyer.]
Idaho employment law uses several factors to determine whether a worker is considered a 1099 contractor or a W-2 employee. These factors include:
Behavioral control: A dental hygienist or assistant working in a dental office who is told when and where to work, how to perform their job, and what tools and equipment to use is more likely to be considered a W-2 employee.
Financial control: A dental hygienist or assistant who incurs their own expenses, such as purchasing their own equipment and supplies, is more likely to be considered a 1099 contractor.
Relationship of the parties: A dental hygienist or assistant who has a long-term and ongoing relationship with a dental office is more likely to be considered a W-2 employee.
It's important to note that no single factor is determinative and that all factors should be considered in determining worker classification.
A dental hygienist or assistant might be classified as a 1099 independent contractor when providing temporary work in a dental office if the following circumstances apply:
- They are self-employed and contract their services to multiple dental offices.
- They provide their own equipment and supplies.
- They set their own schedule and are not required to work specific hours.
- They are paid on a per-project or per-service basis, rather than receiving a regular salary or wage.
- They are not entitled to employee benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, or retirement benefits.
- They are not under the direct control of the dental office and have the freedom to decide how to perform their work.
- They are not considered as an employee in the common-law sense and have the ability to hire their own employees, and have a significant investment in their own business
It's important to note that just because a worker is classified as a 1099 independent contractor does not automatically make it so, and that all factors should be considered in determining worker classification, and that the classification should be done in accordance with the state and federal laws.
If an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, there can be a variety of negative consequences for both the employee and the employer. In general, the employer bears the risk if the employment is misclassified. Some of the risks that employers may face include:
Liability for unpaid taxes: If an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, the employer may be liable for unpaid taxes, including Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes.
Liability for unpaid benefits: Employers may be liable for benefits such as workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, and vacation pay that should have been provided to the employee but were not.
Liability for discrimination and other employment law violations: Employers may be liable for discrimination and other employment law violations if the misclassification resulted in the employee not being protected under those laws.
Liability for overtime and minimum wage violations: Employers may be liable for overtime and minimum wage violations if the employee is entitled to these benefits but did not receive them because of misclassification.
Liability for penalties and fines: Employers may face penalties and fines for misclassifying employees, particularly if they do so intentionally or repeatedly.
It's worth noting that employees can also face negative consequences if they are misclassified as independent contractors, such as loss of benefits and protections, and lack of legal recourse in case of violations. Misclassification can also have negative impacts on the government, particularly if taxes and benefits aren't being paid as they should be.
In Idaho, if a dental hygienist or assistant is incorrectly misclassified as a 1099 independent contractor, there can be several risks for them. Some of these risks include:
Lack of worker protections: As a 1099 contractor, a dental hygienist or assistant is not entitled to the same legal protections and benefits as W-2 employees, such as minimum wage and overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and worker's compensation.
Loss of employee benefits: If a dental hygienist or assistant is misclassified, they may not be eligible for benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits that are typically provided to W-2 employees.
Liability for taxes: As a 1099 contractor, a dental hygienist or assistant is responsible for paying their own self-employment taxes. If they are misclassified, they may not be aware of this responsibility, and may face penalties and interest for failing to pay taxes.
Risk of audit: If the dental office is audited by the government and it is found that the dental hygienist or assistant has been misclassified, both the dental office and the dental hygienist or assistant could be held liable for unpaid taxes and penalties.
Risk of lawsuit: Misclassified workers may also have legal rights to sue the employer for unpaid wages and benefits and may also be protected from discrimination and retaliation as per the state and federal laws.
It's important to note that employers are held liable for misclassifying workers, and that the dental hygienist or assistant should consult with a legal expert and the state's labor department if they suspect that they have been misclassified.
Regardless of how a worker is classified, the worker can still be protected by certain state and federal laws, such as anti-discrimination laws and laws related to safety and health in the workplace. Employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.
Side Note: Occasionally we've heard comments and opinions that, depending on the state, being classified as a 1099 Independent Contractor might put a dental hygienist's license in jeopardy if their state licensure requires their provision of care to be performed under the direction and oversight of a licensed dentist.
In short, the opinion goes something like this: "If you are a 1099 Independent Contractor, then you were self-determinant in the provision of your care and not under the direction a dentist. But your license requires you to provide care only under the direction of a licensed dentist. So your license is now at risk."
We at TempStars care very much about patient care, state regulations, doing the right thing and that dental care is only provided under valid circumstances by licensed professionals. So when we heard this, we made every effort to investigate and dig into the validity of this opinion.
Despite very extensive research and inquiry with dental professionals and dental hygiene licensing bodies, we found no evidence to support this. The hygienist licensures indicated their priority concern was whether a licensed dental hygienist was performing their duties according to their state regulations and guidelines.
But we as a team and organization are dedicated to supporting dental professionals and providing the resources needed for success - so if you or anyone you know has had their dental hygiene license disciplined or suspended solely due to the nature of an employment relationship being misclassified, we would very much like to know.
Please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are offering a reward to any licensed U.S. dental hygienist for the details of their story and situation so that we may help further shine light on this topic and provide the best and most accurate resources and information possible. Thank you!