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

"Sharing Economy" Jobs Share Same Independent Contractor Issues as "Regular Economy"

A CNN op-ed piece caught my eye recently as it discussed some of the difficulties the so-called millennial generation is having in Silicon Valley and elsewhere when it comes to finding gainful employment. It paints a very...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2015

Recent Cases Provide Helpful Reminders Regarding Best Practices (and Pitfalls) with Employment Arbitration Clauses - Scrutiny of mandatory, pre-employment arbitration agreements continues before California state and...more

Is a Company’s Release of Claims a Form of Retaliation under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws? EEOC v. Allstate

The EEOC may have taken enforcement of anti-retaliation provisions of antidiscrimination laws a step too far the Third Circuit ruled in February, and companies transitioning a work force from employees to independent...more

Uber, Lyft “Employee or Independent Contractor” Cases Provide Classification Lessons for All Employers

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As our “on-demand” society continues to develop and services are offered in ever new and more convenient ways, businesses must remain mindful of the traditional factors...more

Employer Met Its Burden Of Proving At Least $5 Million Amount In Controversy For CAFA Removal

In this putative class action, plaintiffs alleged that Knight Transportation had misclassified them as independent contractors when in fact they were employees who were not reimbursed their lease-related and fuel costs as...more

Sharing-economy Business Models Challenged – Uber and Lyft

O’Connor et al v Uber Technologies Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, 11 March 2015 C-13-3826 EMC, Judge Edward M. Chen...Cotter et al v Lyft, Inc., US District Court, Northern District of California, 11...more

Licensing Non-Employees to Access Microsoft Products on Your Servers

Many businesses have teams of third-party vendors to assist with their business operations or to provide independent services – like software development or website design – that require access to company servers. For...more

Tactics Kill Arb Agreement

In Roe v. SFBSC Management, LLC, No. 14-cv-03616 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2015), a federal district court in California rejected a night club’s attempt to compel arbitration by a class of performers who claimed they were...more

Uber and Lyft Lose Key Motions in California Independent Contractor Class Actions; Decisions Have Far-Reaching Implications for...

March 11, 2015 was a tough day for Uber and Lyft. Federal court judges in California issued separate decisions yesterday in class action lawsuits brought by drivers of Uber and Lyft who allege that those companies...more

“Something We Cannot Do”: Mies Confirms Limited Review of Class Certification Orders

In Mies v. Sephora U.S.A., Inc., No. A139410, published February 26, 2015 (Mies), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District held that a trial court’s broad discretion to rule on class certification encompasses...more

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

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