W-2 employees are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Acts, such as OSHA and Workers’ Compensation. If an aide is not a W-2 employee, and represents themselves as independent contractors, it becomes your responsibility, if you hire them, to be sure that the person truly is an independent contractor and is therefore paying their own taxes. If the aide does not meet the legal criteria as an independent contractor and has not met his or her tax obligations, this responsibility falls to you–the employer. Potential private employers should seek the advice of a labor lawyer to assure appropriate hiring practices with respect to federal tax laws.