(PHOTO: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

California again leads the way in challenging norms. Its efforts to redefine the meaning of “employee” and “employment” has resulted in several other states following its lead. New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Nebraska all have recently begun applying some version of California’s stricter test for when a worker may legally be classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Excluding Washington, these states all have another common feature; they all have a state income tax. With the employer making deductions from wages, state income tax is easier to collect from employees than from independent contractors.

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