Per a CNN writeup and Henry Waxman..they surely are:
The latest allegations stem from a March letter from the Internal Revenue Service to Blackwater that Waxman's committee obtained. The letter informs Blackwater that the IRS reviewed the case of a Blackwater worker in Afghanistan and determined that the individual should rightfully and legally be classed as an employee -- not an independent contractor -- for tax purposes. Such a finding would require the company to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and unemployment insurance premiums for its employees. The letter finds the ruling "may be applicable to any other individuals engaged by the firm under similar circumstances."
There are plenty of reasons for paying employees as independant contractors..one is that they aren't really considered employees when listed as I.D.'s. That way, the company can avoid any nasty lawsuits over the actions of their employees..er..their contractors. Another is that the employees won't be able to collect unemployment or disability if injured on the job.
By classifying workers in Iraq as "independent contractors" rather than employees, Blackwater appears to have engaged in an "illegal tax scheme" that avoided an estimated $31 million in employment-related taxes in the last year of its contract alone, said Rep. Henry Waxman on Monday. Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, also accused the North Carolina-based company of preventing a guard who discovered the practice "from contacting members of Congress or law enforcement officials."
I hope they get screwed over this and everything else they have done. Fuck Erik Prince and his theocratic, bullshit-spewing ass. It makes NO sense that the government would allow one of the biggest contractors to list their employees in this manner. Prince says the government is 'aware' of how they list their workers.
Get him Henry..you go dude.
Tags: Independant Contractors, Blackwater,