Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Unemployment Insurance Claim and Department of Labor Audit

By Spodek Law Group | August 7, 2018
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 06:33 pm

Employers must classify workers as employees or as independent contractors. When a worker is classified as an independent contractor, the employer withholds no taxes and issues a 1099 at the end of the year. Because the worker is considered self-employed, the worker pays taxes on his or her own.
Employers must withhold taxes from wages paid to employees. New York law also requires employers pay unemployment-insurance taxes, which are used to fund the state’s unemployment insurance system. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors leads to a labor audit. A labor audit is an intensive process that looks for violations beyond misclassification of employees. Each violation comes with substantial penalties.
The difference between employees and independent contractors
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines employees as workers who perform services that the business controls. A worker is considered an employee even if the employee has discretion and freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the right to control the details of how work is performed.
On the other hand, the IRS defines an independent contractor as a worker who performs work not controlled by the employer. The employer may control the end result of the work but cannot specify the details of how the work is performed or where it is performed. Instead, the independent contractor is free to perform work on his or her own terms without the employer specifying what must be done and how it must be done.
In making this determination, the IRS examines three categories of the employment relationship: behavioral, financial, and type of relationship. Behavioral aspects are ones that determine if an employer controls what work is done and how it is done. For example, a salesperson required to staff the sales floor and wait on customers would be considered an employee based on the behavioral aspects of his or her work. Financial aspects relate to whether the payer controls the business aspects of the work, such as owning the equipment. Employers must also consider whether the type of relationship is contractual or employee-type.
Consequences of misclassification
Employers often get in trouble when a worker who was classified as an independent contractor files an unemployment insurance claim after termination. After the claim is filed, the unemployment insurance office investigates whether the employment relationship was classified correctly. If the department finds that the employee was misclassified, it will reward the employee unemployment insurance benefits.
This determination has adverse consequences for the employer because as a result of the misclassification, the employer failed to withhold taxes and pay unemployment-insurance tax. As a result, the State of New York will assess the employer the unemployment insurance taxes owed, in addition to penalties, interest, and fees.
Labor audits
In most cases, the discovery of an employee misclassification triggers a labor audit. During a labor audit, the state will look at the classifications of all employees to determine if the employer misclassified any other employees. Auditors generally look at the past three years. They will assess back payroll taxes and penalties for each instance of misclassification.
Labor audits go beyond classification. They also search for any employees paid off the books, as well as any wage and hour or minimum wage violations. Auditors will examine wage and timekeeping records. If legally required records are not in order, additional penalties may be assessed.
Intentional misclassification of workers
When employers intentionally misclassify workers, they open themselves to fraud charges. The State of New York considers misclassification to be an attempt to avoid compliance with multiple legal requirements beyond unemployment insurance, including workers’ compensation, social security, tax withholding, temporary disability, and minimum wage. A labor audit may bring charges in all of these areas.
The State of New York employs a joint task force in conducting investigations into worker misclassification. The task force includes the Department of Labor, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Workers’ Compensation Board, and the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General. The task force’s mission is to stop worker misclassification in order to ensure that workers receive the protections they are entitled to under the law. The New York Department of Labor also maintains a hotline where employee misclassification may be reported to the task force.
How to ensure against a labor audit
Employers must never intentionally misclassify employees. In cases where employers are unsure about legal classification, they should seek legal advice from a New York employment lawyer. Some cases of classification are obvious, while others may seem to fall in a gray area. An employment lawyer can accurately assess the classification and protect your business from a labor audit.
Employment law covers a vast number of regulations. Employers often find themselves facing audits or lawsuits because they were unaware of misunderstood regulations. Hiring an employment law firm to provide advice and counsel on employment issues can save a firm from experiencing a labor audit and the associated financial penalties.

The Importance of Properly Classifying Workers as Employees or Independent Contractors

Classifying workers correctly as either employees or independent contractors is not only essential for meeting legal obligations, but it also helps businesses avoid the costly and time-consuming process of a labor audit. In this comprehensive and emotionally charged article, we will delve into the powerful consequences of misclassification, labor audits, and the crucial distinctions between employees and independent contractors.

Understanding the Difference Between Employees and Independent Contractors

To grasp the full impact of properly classifying workers, we must first understand the essential distinctions between employees and independent contractors.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employees are workers who perform services that the employer controls. Regardless of the degree of discretion and freedom of action an employee may have, the pivotal factor remains that the employer has the authority to direct the specifics of how the work is accomplished.

In contrast, an independent contractor is a worker who executes work beyond the employer’s control. While the employer may manage the end result, they do not have authority over the particulars of how or where the work is to be performed. This freedom allows the independent contractor to operate on their own terms, without interference from the employer.

The IRS assesses the employment relationship tightly, examining three key areas: behavioral, financial, and type of relationship. This scrutiny aids in determining the accurate classification of a worker and thus assisting in avoiding potential legal complications.

Consequences of Misclassification

The considerable and far-reaching consequences of misclassifying a worker become evident when a terminated worker, who was classified as an independent contractor, files an unemployment insurance claim. During the investigation, if the classification is determined incorrect, the employee may receive unemployment insurance benefits.

However, this outcome holds significant repercussions for the employer, who has now failed to withhold taxes and pay unemployment-insurance tax due to the misclassification. Penalties, interest, and fees may accumulate on top of the owed unemployment insurance taxes to the State of New York.

Labor Audits: The Overwhelming Aftermath of Misclassification

The discovery of an employee misclassification often triggers the daunting prospect of a labor audit. State auditors will analyze the past three years, searching for classification mistakes for all employees. Consequently, the employer may face back payroll taxes and penalties for each misclassification occurrence.

Labor audits further extend beyond classification, delving into possible off-the-books workers and instances of wage and hour or minimum wage violations. Disordered or insufficient legally required records may also incur additional penalties.

Intentional Misclassification of Workers: Fraud Charges Lurking

When employers willfully misclassify workers, they expose themselves to the perilous possibility of fraud charges. In the State of New York, misclassification signifies an attempt to circumvent various legal obligations, including workers’ compensation, social security, tax withholding, temporary disability, and minimum wage. A labor audit may result in accusations in all of these domains.

To combat worker misclassification, the State of New York employs a joint task force comprised of several departments. This task force’s mission is to eradicate worker misclassification, ensuring that all workers receive their entitled protections under the law.

Preventing Labor Audits: Seeking Legal Advice from a New York Employment Lawyer

Employers must exercise extreme caution and never intentionally misclassify employees. In situations where classification is unclear, businesses should consult a New York employment lawyer for clarity. Some cases may seem to fall in a gray area, but a skilled employment lawyer can effortlessly identify the proper classification while safeguarding your business from a labor audit.

Employment law encompasses a vast array of regulations and can often overwhelm employers. Consequently, businesses may find themselves ensnared in audits or lawsuits due to ignorance or misunderstandings. Hiring an employment law firm to provide guidance regarding employment matters may shield your firm from the emotional turmoil and financial repercussions that accompany a labor audit.

In conclusion, the importance of properly classifying workers in your business cannot be overstated. Understanding the differences between employees and independent contractors, acknowledging the consequences of misclassification, and seeking legal insight from an employment lawyer are essential steps to ensure the success and compliance of your company.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!