Boston—July 10, 2018—IHRSA's latest member-only resource, Independent Contractors: An IHRSA Briefing Paper, gives club operators information on how to decide whether hiring an independent contractor or an employee best fits their business needs and how to avoid legal fees that could result from worker misclassification.

“Due to the emphasis on employer misclassification, many clubs have been audited and pressured to reclassify certain workers as employees,” said Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s executive vice president of public policy. “In addition to group exercise instructors, clubs that classify tennis and golf pros and personal trainers as independent contractors may be asked to prove their status if audited. Since an improperly classified worker costs an employer an average of $3,701 in back taxes, the financial implications of wrongly classifying employees are significant.”

Therefore, it's crucial for clubs to know how and why they are classifying workers in a specific way. This new briefing paper provides detailed answers to important questions every club operator should be asking:

  • What is the difference between employees and independent contractors?
  • How do most clubs classify group exercise, fitness, and racquet sports instructors?
  • What criteria should an employee consider when classifying workers?
  • What if it is unclear whether workers are employees or independent contractors?
  • If a club classifies an employee as an independent contractor, how can it ensure its classifications will withstand an audit or an employee claim of misclassification?
  • If I determine independent contractors were misclassified, what can I do?

To keep health clubs safe from harm, we encourage all IHRSA members to login to our website to access this resource for free. Spending a few minutes now to review this document could save club businesses from a slew of potential legal issues in the future.

IHRSA’s legal briefing papers cover a wide range of topics, including employment law, harassment, injury liability, hiring independent contractors, and overseeing kids in your club and are available exclusively for IHRSA members to download on the IHRSA website. It is important to note that the information contained within these documents should not be considered legal advice. Members with questions after reading should contact IHRSA public policy or share the briefing paper with an attorney who specializes in their area of concern. Sharing this information with an attorney will save club operators a significant amount in research costs charged by legal professionals.