The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) warns that its audits of trucking companies can happen suddenly, so it is best to be prepared.
IDES audits may arise due to an unemployment claim by an owner-operator who is an independent contractor, or even by random selection. Companies that use independent contractors are more likely to have an audit. If a trucking company is faced with an IDES audit and uses independent contractors, these factors can help make the process go more smoothly:
1. All of the owner-operators who are independent contractors should have their business name and business address on their trucks -- this is required by law. The IDES auditor will usually ask for proof. The trucking company should take photos of all of the owner-operators’ trucks showing this information.
2. The trucking company should carefully review the wording in its independent contractor agreement for owner-operators, specifically over operating and licensing expenses.
3. Non-compete clauses are prohibited. Contractors must be allowed to work with other entities because they are not employees.