Paying “under-the-table” wages is illegal and can result in severe penalties. It also shortchanges employees. Many laid-off workers who were paid with cash have learned during the COVID-19 crisis they don’t qualify for unemployment benefits if their state has no record of them. Make sure your business fully complies with tax laws and your state’s unemployment insurance requirements. You may also be required to provide time off and health care benefits. Note: These warnings don’t apply to workers who are legitimate independent contractors.