Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are individuals or entities that perform work for other individuals or entities, but are not employees of those individuals or entities. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent... more +
Independent contractors are individuals or entities that perform work for other individuals or entities, but are not employees of those individuals or entities. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is not always an easy determination. However, due to differences in tax and liability treatment, misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can have serious consequences. Autonomy is the defining feature of independent contractor arrangements. Independent contractors control the manner and method of how work is performed while payers control the desired result. Control over schedule and number of hours worked, ownership of equipment or tools, permanency of relationship, and acceptance of jobs from multiple entities are all possible factors in determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor.   less -
News & Analysis as of

February 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline developments are a set of cases reported in February dealing with class action IC misclassification claims: the highest court in a key state agreeing to decide whether a worker-friendly test should be...more

Supreme Court of New Jersey Rules on Test for Independent Contractors

On January 14, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided which independent contractor classification test should be used in determining a person’s employment status under the New Jersey Wage Payment Law (WPL) and Wage and...more

The Secret Weapon of the Rich

Have you ever wished that there were 25 hours in a day? Let’s face it, there are days that no matter what you do, you simply can’t get everything done that you wanted to....more

EEOC Loses Argument That Company Converting Employees to Contractors Cannot Require Release of Pending Discrimination Claims

Over the past several years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed several high profile lawsuits accusing employers of retaliating against employees by requiring them to waive discrimination claims in return...more

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Last week's Privilege Point described the Southern District of New York's prediction that the Second Circuit might reject the widely-accepted "functional equivalent" doctrine. Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision...more

Employees vs. Independent Contractors: The Consequences of Misclassification

The distinction between independent contractors and employees carries more burdens, consequences, and decisions than ever before. In addition to the tax consequences, there are health care compliance consequences, workers’...more

The Interconnect Flash - No. 46: Court Deals Crushing Blow to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law

On February 5, 2015, Judge Robert G. Stearns issued industry-favorable decisions in two worker classification suits pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Based upon the First Circuit...more

You're fired! Want to continue to work for us as an Independent Contractor?

This post was contributed by Jennifer E. Will, an Attorney in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC's Labor & Employment Practice Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. If you do, you'll need to sign a release and waive all of your...more

Affordable Care Act Presents New Risks to Employers Who Misclassify Workers

As our readers know, federal and state departments of labor have intensified their scrutiny of independent contractor arrangements and are coordinating with the federal and state taxing authorities when misclassifications are...more

Employee or Independent Contractor: Why It Matters?

Every employer eventually tackles the question of whether its labor force is composed of employees, independent contractors, or a combination of both. The appeal of the independent contractor classification is understandable...more

Uber and Lyft Drivers: Employees, Independent Contractors, or Something Else Entirely?

Disruptive “technology” companies Uber and Lyft were back in court recently doing their best to ensure their business models are not upended by a ruling that their drivers should be classified as employees rather than...more

Bumpy Ride: How Rideshare Programs Are Challenging Worker Classification and Raising Questions About a Potential Need to Modernize...

Rideshare services, which typically work by having users arrange rides using mobile apps on their phones with drivers who decide whether they want to provide a ride to a user at their discretion, have grown immensely in...more

The Next Wave of Joint Employment Litigation

A looming surge of cases threatens to expand the joint employment doctrine and fundamentally alter the operations of franchisors, retailers, and businesses utilizing independent contractors within the four walls of their...more

133,000 Misclassified Workers Detected in New York in the Course of 12,000 Audits and Investigations in 2014, According to the...

On February 1, 2015, the Joint Enforcement Task Force on Employee Misclassification issued its Annual Report. The Report noted that the New York Task Force members in 2014 conducted over 12,000 audits and investigations,...more

Even an Exotic Dance Club (a.k.a. Strip Joint) Can Comply with Independent Contractor Laws – And Avoid or Defend Against Class...

A number of our blog posts since October 2010, including our monthly updates beginning in November 2012, have included reports on class action lawsuits by exotic dancers against strip clubs. This industry has, by far, the...more

Employment Law - February 2015

No Class Action Waivers on PAGA Claims: With Cert Denial, California’s Iskanian Decision Stands - Why it matters: It’s official: The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in...more

Wisconsin Joins DOL’s Worker Misclassification Initiative

On January 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Wisconsin has also joined the growing list of states that have entered into formal agreements with the DOL to share information about worker misclassification. ...more

Is it Any Surprise to Anyone that Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Employees?

Why is anyone surprised to learn that the judges hearing two class actions involving Uber and Lyft drivers in California are leaning towards holding that the drivers are employees, and not independent contractors? At the...more

The 2016 Federal Budget: Targeting Independent Contractor Misclassification as Part of the “Fissured Workplace”

The President released his Fiscal Year 2016 Budget today, February 2, 2015. In furtherance of the President’s budget request, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division provided a 32-page budget justification to Congress...more

January 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

JANITORIAL FRANCHISE COMPANY SETTLES ITS APPEAL OF $4.8 MILLION JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF MISCLASSIFIED CUSTODIANS. Coverall North America Inc. settled the independent contractor misclassification case filed against it by a class...more

Employer Properly Challenged CUIAB’s Determination That Worker Was Not An Independent Contractor

After leaving his job as a massage therapist at West Hollywood Community Health & Fitness Center (d/b/a “Voda Spa”), Mario Serban applied for unemployment benefits. The Employment Development Department sent Voda Spa a letter...more

Exotic Dancers’ Class Action Employment Suit Stays Alive in California

Salazar v. Victory Entertainment, Inc., No. B249888 (December 15, 2014): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal revived a class action lawsuit brought by a group of exotic dancers who claimed that they were...more

Adding Talent to Your Startup - Common Pitfalls to Avoid

If you are a young startup, then you probably have more work than you do time to perform the work. That means you are probably starting to think about bringing in additional talent to help you. ...more

Employer May Obtain Judicial Review of California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Decision

West Hollywood Community Health and Fitness Center v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, No. B248641 (December 5, 2014): A California Court of Appeal recently reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a writ of...more

NJ Supreme Court Advises Courts to Follow NJDOL Test for Determining Employee vs. Independent Contractor Status for Wage Disputes

In Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently held that the legal test for determining employee status under New Jersey unemployment compensation laws should also be used to determine employee status in...more

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