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

California Court Rejects Arbitration Agreement for Unconscionability

On October 27, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, in an unpublished decision, issued yet another ruling applying the unconscionability doctrine to arbitration agreements in the employment context. In Prince v. Pletcher,...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - February 2016

Be Still, My Heart: New Suit Says Fitbits Fail to Track Heartbeats as Promised - Why it matters - Fitbit has been hit with another consumer class action asserting false advertising claims, this time alleging that...more

What Does an Independent Contractor Mean to You? Eleventh Circuit Issues Significant Independent-Contractor Ruling

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which has jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida and Georgia) issued a ruling that is noteworthy for all employers, addressing the often-contested issue of whether a...more

Fifth Circuit Weighs In On Breadth Of The Rehabilitation Act

Recently, a split has continued among the Circuit Courts as to whether Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act permits employment discrimination suits by independent contractors. On February 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined...more

Court Pulls Curtain on NLRB Ruling

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the NLRB’s finding that stagehands in the Atlanta area were employees rather than independent contractors. The Court found that the NLRB repeatedly misapplied the law and...more

The Final Word on Dependent Contractors

I wrote last year about the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in the case of Keenan v. Canac Kitchens (a link to same can be found here: http://www.employmentandlabour.com/?s=Canac). Last week the Ontario Court...more

Lyft Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Leaves Classification Question Unsettled

prykhodov © 123RF.com Ride-Sharing service Lyft agreed to pay $12.25 million and provide drivers with certain additional workplace protections as settlement of a proposed class action lawsuit filed in California brought by...more

Independent Contractors: Can You Still Use Them?

A while back, I got this question: Can we still use independent contractors for our business? This answer is certainly yes. But you wouldn’t know it from all the headlines of late....more

Lyft Reaches Settlement Preserving Independent Contractor Status for Drivers

Lyft, Inc. has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by drivers that preserves the drivers’ classification as independent contractors rather than employees. Although Lyft agreed to pay $12.25 million and...more

Uber-Complicated: Insurance Gaps for Rideshare Vehicles Can Create Uncertainty for Passengers and Drivers

Many of us have come to enjoy the convenience of summoning a ride via our Smartphones with a rideshare service company such as Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar. However, significant issues exist over whether rideshare vehicles have...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: February 2016

Equal pay and EEO-1 reports made headlines last Friday as the EEOC and the White House celebrated the 7th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Act. The EEOC announced a proposed new requirement for federal contractors and...more

Uber and Lyft Choose Different Routes in Navigating Legal Challenges

The future of ride-sharing companies has hung in the balance for more than two years while class actions and labor complaints were pending against industry giants Uber, Lyft and others. The ride-sharing companies have...more

December 2015 / January 2016 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

This Update covers the two-month period of December 2015 and January 2016. The headnote for this period is: don’t classify drivers as ICs unless you do it right! Eight of the nine cases reported below involve drivers....more

Canadian Employment News Series - January 2016: Top 10 Canadian Employment Law Cases of 2015

With 2015 now behind us and our sights set on 2016, we have compiled the following list of ten significant Canadian employment law cases from 2015. This roundup is a cross-section of decisions from across the country,...more

News from the Vermont Statehouse - An analysis from DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team - January 2016 #2

Paid Sick Leave Bill Appears on Track for Passage - The Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee on Thursday approved its version of a House-passed bill, H.187, that would require many Vermont...more

Be Careful Who You Hire: Unlicensed Contractors are Employees of the Hirer

In Randall Blackwell v. Ray Vasilas, (D067239, Superior Court No. 37-2013-00064563-CU-PO-CTL) the Fourth Appellate District held the Privette Doctrine does not protect a hirer from liability to an independent contractor’s...more

NYC Employers Risk New Penalties in 2016: Gender and Caregiver Discrimination, Paying Freelancers

In December 2015, New York City lawmakers introduced or approved three important legal actions that will affect the City’s employers: (1) publication of enforcement guidance on gender, gender identity, and gender expression...more

When an independent contractor can file a workers’ compensation claim

Independent contractors have a great deal of freedom in how they perform their jobs, and for whom they will work for. Yet, these freedoms come at a high price. For a some people, it means they can’t file workers’ compensation...more

Employment Law Letter - Winter 2016

In our last issue, we reported on an interesting lawsuit filed by about 50 plant construction workers who were out of work for months following an explosion resulting from a “gas blow” at the Kleen Energy facility in...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - January 2016

Insurance Coverage; Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Exclusion - Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 901, 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 524 - Facts: The insured had a vacant apartment building....more

DOL to Revive Survey to Assess Members of "Gig" Economy

The changing nature of employment, including the move to more online-based commerce, has increased the number of on-demand or "gig" workers. Estimates vary as to the number of workers in the so-called gig economy, but most...more

"Restrictions on Use of Independent Contractors"

In recent years, the “on-demand” economy, an industry built on apps that instantly connect customers with services performed by independent contractors, such as drivers and delivery workers, has thrived. However, regulatory...more

Starting Off The New Year Right

As we all begin 2016 with resolutions for a better year, it is also a prime time to review your company’s policies to help avoid employment-related minefields. In addition to certain new obligations beginning this year,...more

DOL Issues Interpretation to Expand Joint-Employer Liability

The position could expose more putative employers to potential liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In an Administrator’s Interpretation (AI) issued on January 20, the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and...more

"A New World for Joint Employers"

A recent trend in labor and employment law is the increase in entities found responsible as employers and the simultaneous expansion of the definition of employees. This is manifesting itself through a new test for joint...more

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