Alternative Workforces: Minimizing Liability for Joint Employment and Contractor Misclassification

Mitigating Risks When Using Subcontractors, Temp Agencies, Leased Employees, Interns and Independent Contractors

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide employment counsel in evaluating and mitigating the legal risks inherent in using an alternative workforce to meet staffing needs. The panel will explain best practices for minimizing liabilities that may arise under a joint employer theory or contractor misclassification theory.


Employers are increasingly relying on an alternative workforce — including interns, subcontractors, temporary staffing agencies, leased employees, freelancers, consultants and independent contractors — to meet the demands of a growing workload without incurring significant payroll and benefits costs.

Simultaneously, government agencies, including the DOL and IRS, are increasing their scrutiny of contingent workers to ensure proper classification. Joint employer liability is also a potential legal landmine for employers using an alternative workforce.

To minimize legal risk, counsel should advise employers using contingent workers to reexamine, and where necessary adjust, their policies regarding compensation, benefits, worker management, hiring and termination to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment attorneys describes potential areas of liability exposure for employers using an alternative workforce and explains strategies to avoid or minimize liability and penalties.



  1. Potential areas of liability exposure
    1. Joint employer liability
    2. Misclassification of contractors and interns
  2. Best practices to minimize risk
    1. Compensation
    2. Benefits
    3. "Hiring" workers
    4. Managing the workforce
    5. Training workers
    6. Terminating workers
  3. Key terms to include in agreements with staffing agencies and contractors


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the high-cost potential liabilities facing employers that use an alternative workforce?
  • What are some best practices related to compensation, benefits, terminations and workforce management that can help employers minimize risk when using contingent workers?
  • What are the key features of a well-drafted agreement for employers with staffing agencies and contractors to protect employers from future liability?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


W. Gary Fowler
W. Gary Fowler

Jackson Walker

He is Chair of the firm’s Dallas Labor and Employment Section, and is an expert in employment contracts,...  |  Read More

James M. Nelson
James M. Nelson

Greenberg Traurig

He is the Chair of the firm's Sacramento Labor and Employment Group. He represents employers and ERISA plan...  |  Read More

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