Independent Contractors Wage and Hour

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

$4.5 million wage settlement for Pa. and WVa. workers in oil and natural gas industry

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it has reached agreement with numerous employers in the oil and natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to provide 5,310 workers...more

Nevada Supreme Court Adopts Economic Realities Test to Determine Employment Status

Recently, the Nevada Supreme Court in Terry, et al., v. Sapphire Gentlemen's Club, reversed a lower court's ruling and held that performers at Sapphire Gentlemen's Club meet the definition of "employees" under the Nevada...more

Nevada Supreme Court Finds Class of Strippers Were Employees

Given the extensive use of euphemisms in the exotic dancing trade, we’ll apologize in advance for any unintended puns. We’ve written on the issue of the classification of exotic dancers or strippers in the past [April...more

November 2014 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

This month’s headline developments are two independent contractor misclassification class action lawsuits: one was filed in New York against a Silicon Valley giant, Google Inc., and the second was filed in California against...more

2015 Labor & Employment Law Update for California Employers

The California Legislature enacted a number of new bills that become effective in 2015. Among the most significant are the following...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

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

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

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

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

“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

NLRB Adopts New Test for Independent Contractor Misclassification, Applies it to Find FedEx Drivers are Employees Who Can Unionize

The NLRB has tossed a new vegetable into the enormous salad of independent contractor misclassification tests. As companies might expect, the new vegetable smells rotten. Companies who wish to analyze whether their...more

Misclassification Initiatives Spread as Alabama Signs Formal Pact with DOL

On October 2, 2014, the Alabama Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or agreement to share information regarding independent contractor...more

New Law Makes Employers Liable for Labor Code and Other Violations of Staffing Companies

At some time during the business cycle, many companies utilize staffing or labor contracting agencies to obtain workers to perform certain tasks. In such situations, the staffing or contracting agency typically serves as the...more

New California Law Imposes Costly Risks to Companies Using Independent Contractors Supplied by Staffing and Recruiting Firms – But...

On September 28, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that puts a potentially enormous liability risk on companies that use workers supplied by “labor contractors” that fail to pay all wages due the workers....more

Employee or Independent Contractor? A Change in the Ground Rules at FedEx Ground

I’ll bet you assume that the hard-working driver who delivers your packages and letters shipped by Federal Express is a FedEx employee. After all, he or she wears a FedEx uniform, drives a FedEx truck, uses a FedEx handheld...more

‘Entrepreneurs’ or Exploited Workers?

For years, employers have reacted to the size and breadth of employment laws and regulations in California by finding other means of classifying people who perform services for them. As a result, California employers today...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

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

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

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

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

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