At one time or another, most subrogation professionals have struggled to track down an actual or alleged independent contractor involved with some scope of work relating to a loss. In some cases, we also find that defenses are being raised that someone was an independent contractor versus a direct employee. Often, we have to rely on information from the insured or other contractor witnesses when investigating and, even then, it sometimes becomes difficult to place each party’s role and who did what and when if documentation is lacking. Florida recently amended Section 409.2576 of the Florida Statutes concerning the State Directory of New Hires, and, in doing so, created a reporting requirement for businesses who use independent contractors that may become a useful tool going forward in subrogation investigations.
As of October 1, 2021, any business in Florida that receives services from an independent contractor, or a non-employee, of $600 or more must now report that service to the Florida Department of Revenue. See Fl. Stat. Sec. 409.2576. The result is that, in theory, work performed for businesses by independent contractors who are paid $600 or more is now being tracked. Although the statute was amended to address concerns with child support collections, it may provide a new and potentially beneficial tool to recovery professionals trying to identify work involved in a loss incident or the scope of employment of potential recovery targets. The information that must now be reported under the amended statute includes the independent contractor’s background information (name, address, social security number, DOB or federal employer ID) and the date services were first provided. The amended statute outlines as well the timing of reporting, which must now be done on a calendar year basis.
In theory, a request for public records should now result in identification of any contractors who are reported but, as with any system, it will also rely on those making the reporting. Time will tell how useful this amended statute will be for recovery professionals, but it appears it may result in a positive step forward when looking to identify independent contractors who performed work for businesses.
The full statute can be found at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0409/Sections/0409.2576.html.