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

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (11/14)

In its weekly orders (11/21/14), the Texas Supreme Court issued five new opinions and granted review in three cases. Click here to read the order list and find the opinions....more

Employment Law - November 2014

State Voters Pass Paid Sick Leave, Wage Increases - Why it matters: The polls have closed and the votes are in: The midterm elections will have a significant impact on employers across the country as voters in multiple...more

SuperVision Today - November 2014

Notes from the Chair and Executive Editor - Welcome to the fourth quarter edition of SuperVision Today, the quarterly e-newsletter published by Spilman's Labor & Employment Group. With the election results in,...more

To Be, or Not to Be an Independent Contractor—That Is the Question.

I often receive calls that begin with a story like this: “We had the maintenance guy do this project for us a year or two ago, and we really liked him, so we kept him on. We just 1099 him each year. No problem with that,...more

Contracting Across The Tasman

When businesses decide to venture across the Tasman to set up a new Australian or New Zealand based office, it is sometimes in the belief that the easiest and best option is to start by engaging contractors. Employers can be...more

DOL Refills States’ War Chests for Independent Contractor Misclassification Crackdown

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $10.2 million in grants to 19 states for continued independent contractor misclassification detection and enforcement. The grants are focused on unemployment insurance programs and,...more

New Hampshire Department of Labor and U.S. DOL Agree to Work Together Against Misclassification

The U.S. Department of Labor (“U.S. DOL”) and the New Hampshire Department of Labor recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share information regarding independent contractor misclassification. The agreement is part...more

Truckers Getting Scammed

Truckers who are injured in trucking accidents are more often lately victims of insurance scams perpetrated by disreputable employers. The more serious the injury, the more likely the trucker will be scammed. This is how it...more

Can I Get Workers' Comp If I'm Paid On A 1099

This is a legal question that depends on the facts of each case. So, the short answer to it is that even though you get a 1099 and your “employer” tells you that you’re an independent contractor doesn’t mean you can’t get...more

New California Law Imposes Joint Liability on Businesses and Contract Vendors for Wage Violations and Workers’ Compensation...

For companies using independent contractors in California, 2014 has been a difficult year, with several significant court decisions threatening the contractor model. In June, the Ninth Circuit rejected the parties’ choice of...more

Gentlemen’s Club Cannot Strip Dancers of Employee Status

We mentioned early last year that the U.S. Department of Labor intended to start cracking down on the (mis)classification of workers as independent contractors. All is not lost however, as we also recently discussed a New...more

Employment Law Update - Independent Contractors: The NLRB Refines its Standards

Whether an individual is classified as an independent contractor or an employee has significant legal implications, because most federal and state employment laws do not apply to independent contractors. Independent...more

October 2014 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

- TAX COURT DECISION REMINDS COMPANIES THAT “OFFICERS” ARE STATUTORY EMPLOYEES AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. The United States Tax Court held that a company that was engaged in the buying, reconditioning,...more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge of Illinois Independent Contractor Classification Law

On October 14, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider a challenge to the Illinois Employee Classification Act, which classifies workers in the construction industry as employees unless they can meet...more

Eighth Circuit: Doctor Is Unable to Maintain Employment Claims Due to Determination of Independent Contractor Status

From 1991 until 2011, Larry Alexander worked as a pathologist for Avera St. Luke's Hospital in South Dakota. Under the terms of his contract, Alexander was an independent contractor free from control of Avera. Alexander paid...more

California Legislation 2014

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014—Paid Sick Leave (AB 1522) - On September 10, 2014,...more

An Employee is an Employee is an Employee: Alexander v. FedEx Ground

In the 1920s, author Gertrude Stein famously said, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” In light of Alexander v. FedEx Ground, that phrase could just as well be: an employee is an employee is an employee. Alexander is one of many...more

Fifth Circuit Hands Down Mixed Ruling on Validity of Later-Added Arbitration Clause

Employers must always be careful when adding an arbitration clause to an existing employment agreement. The amendment process becomes even trickier when the employment relationship is governed by multiple documents.That was...more

State and Federal Departments of Labor Joining Forces to Fight Employee Misclassification

Last month, major North Carolina newspapers ran a series of investigative reports alleging that construction companies with federal contracts routinely misclassify employees as independent contractors. While these articles...more

Wage Order—Not Borello—Applies in Independent Contractor Status Test Says California Court of Appeal

The California Court of Appeal, Second District, issued an opinion on October 15, 2014, that considered whether the definition of “employee” from the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 9 (Wage Order) or the common...more

Worker Classification Litigation on the Rise — An Analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s FedEx Case and Its Lessons for Tax Practitioners

Abraham Lincoln reportedly asked, ‘‘If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?’’ His answer was, ‘‘Four. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not make it a leg.’’ Similarly, when businesses classify workers,...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18876 - State v. Eleck - SC19035 - State v. Artis - AC34796 - Michael G.v. Commissioner of Correction - AC35641 - Kim v. Emt State Marshalls are NOT State employees but rather are independent...more

US Department of Labor to Aggressively Pursue Misclassification Matters

Employers have many ways of getting into trouble. We hope that after reading this you will avoid one of them; namely, misclassifying employees as independent contractors. ...more

“Black Car” Drivers Found to be Independent Contractors

Recently, courts in highly-publicized independent contractor misclassification cases in the transportation sector have issued determinations finding the workers to be employees. However, a recent decision from the Southern...more

Conservative Kansas Joins the Liberal Ninth Circuit in Rejecting the Independent Contractor Classification of Delivery Drivers

Last month we blogged about two Ninth Circuit opinions that deemed FedEx Ground drivers to be employees rather than independent contractors under California and Oregon law. Last week the Kansas Supreme Court joined them,...more

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