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

U.S. Labor Department Awards $10.2 Million to 19 States to Help Finance Their Crackdown on Independent Contractor...

The news from Washington, D.C. yesterday is that the U.S. Department of Labor is funding 19 states’ efforts to crack down on businesses that unwittingly or intentionally fail to make unemployment contributions for individuals...more

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 1 of 11 – FedEx sings Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong”…to Classify Our Drivers as Independent...

Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay? Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way? Those are the opening lyrics to Nico & Vinz’s (catchy would be an understatement) summertime hit...more

Misclassification of Employees As Independent Contractors In the News

Media outlets throughout the country have recently reported that it appears there was little to no oversight to ensure contractors, which were working on projects receiving federal stimulus money, were not misclassifying...more

Independent Contractors Lying In Wait… An Employment Law Perspective

The Issue: Misclassification of employees as independent contractors is common and it can have “quicksand” impact on employers. In addition to litigation expense, employer risks include compensation and penalties for Wage...more

Recent Oregon Decision: A Warning on Independent Contractor Classification

Do your “independent contractors” work from your company’s offices? Do they market their own separate businesses? Do they have the right to hire others to perform the work they perform for you? If the answer to any of these...more

State Law Can Override Control Test for Employment

Past articles in this blog have discussed the control test for establishing an employment relationship as opposed to independent contractor status. Although government agencies such as the Department of Labor or IRS describe...more

9th Cir. Finds FedEx Delivery Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

Last week, the 9th Circuit held in two related cases from California and Oregon that FedEx misclassified approximately 2,600 delivery truck drivers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. The cases—Alexander v....more

Sea Change: Ninth Circuit Holds That FedEx Drivers Are Employees — Not Independent Contractors

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed the nearly decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, holding that drivers in California (as well as in Oregon) are FedEx employees, not independent contractors. ...more

August 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline development are the seismic decisions, issued on August 27, 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concluding as a matter of law that FedEx Ground had misclassified over 2,300 drivers...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court, Rules FedEx Drivers in California and Oregon are Employees

Last week the Ninth Circuit issued a pair of decisions in the nearly-decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, with the Court of Appeals ruling that drivers in California and Oregon are FedEx...more

Earthquake in the Independent Contractor Misclassification Field: Changed Landscape Following Serious Legal Blow to FedEx Ground...

FedEx Ground has been at the epicenter of the crackdown on IC misclassification by government regulators, state legislators, and plaintiffs’ class action lawyers since 2007, when a California appellate court found...more

Worker-Classification Lawsuit Claims Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors

A class-action suit recently filed in Massachusetts against an on-demand car service alleges the company misclassified its drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, according to the complaint, the...more

Federal Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Under Both California's and...

Class actions were brought against FedEx in both California and Oregon by FedEx drivers contending they had been misclassified as independent contractors. (Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. and Slayman,...more

Flash No. 41: How The NLRB and 2 All-Beef Patties Resonate with Trucking

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel’s July 31 announcement that he will name McDonald’s U.S.A. LLC as a joint employer in dozens of unfair labor practice cases filed on behalf of employees of...more

Washington Court of Appeals Holds Independent Contractors Are Protected from Retaliation by the Washington Law Against...

The Washington courts are strict in their interpretation of the classification of individuals as employees versus independent contractors, resulting in many an employer discovering that an “independent contractor” is instead...more

Quirky Question # 238, No Laughing Matter – Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement

Question: My company relies on independent contractors, over whom we don’t exert control. They often joke around with each other. I’m not liable for employment discrimination if I terminate one of them after they...more

No Laughing Matter: Company Found Liable for Wrongfully Terminating Independent Contractor’s Agreement after a Complaint about a...

Companies using independent contractors should be aware of increased enforcement efforts from federal and state labor and tax authorities over misclassification of workers under wage and hour and tax laws. In Washington, this...more

NLRB Will Charge McDonald’s as “Joint Employer” For Franchisee Labor Violations

In a move with far-reaching ramifications for all businesses that license their brands to independent contractors including franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced on July 29, 2014 that it has...more

July 2014 Monthly Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

The leading development this month in the area of independent contractor compliance and misclassification is an Arizona case that deals with a commonplace event – but one that carries with it the potential for unanticipated...more

NLRB Lawyers Declare Franchisor to be Joint Employer

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel announced its position that McDonald’s Corporation can be considered a joint employer with its franchisees for purposes of unfair labor practice claims. This...more

The Potential Impact of the NLRB’s Position that McDonald’s and its Franchisees are “Joint Employers”

The National Labor Relations Board created a stir last week when it announced that it intends to hold McDonald’s USA responsible for its franchisees’ violations of employment law. The announcement has created concern and...more

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business?...more

Executive Order May Block Contractors with Labor Violations from Receiving Federal Contracts

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (“Executive Order”) that requires contractors to (1) disclose recent violations of various workplace laws before being awarded federal...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Easier For Workers in Misclassification Cases To Obtain Class Certification

Employment class action litigation is often won or lost with a class certification ruling. If the employer is successful in opposing class certification, then these cases often go away with little or no fanfare and limited...more

Benesch Perspectives - July 2014 Newsletter

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Giving to Religion Trending Downward for a Decade - What You Can Learn from Giving 2014 - Is the Front Door Closing on the Parsonage...more

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