I saw a recent newspaper story from New Jersey telling an employer was found guilty of a crime for failing to provide workers compensation benefits for the employees of his tree trimming service.
I can’t recall the last time I read of such a conviction, although virtually every state makes failing to provide workers compensation a crime and wide spread employer evasion by labeling workers as independent contractor rather than employees. Recent studies find misclassification to occur a 30% rate. The costs of misclassification are in the hundreds of billions with workers being denied treatment and income replacement, government losing withholding taxes, unemployment benefit taxes and lawful employers paying higher insurance premiums for workers compensation and healthcare to name a few costs.
I run into these scoff law employers all too frequently. If more prosecutors treated them as the criminals, they are perhaps more working people would be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.