News & Analysis as of

FRANCHISEE 101: Independent Contractors or Employees?

In Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corporation, another recent delivery driver case that arose in California, Affinity Logistics' drivers claimed they were employees and had been misclassified as independent contractors. The trial...more

$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

Rhode Island Establishes Tip Line For Worker Misclassification

Rhode Island’s Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification announced earlier this month that it has set up an anonymous telephone tip line for reporting allegations of independent contractor...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

Shake It Off: Employer Misclassification of Exotic Dancers under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Recently, there’s been a wave of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) rulings adverse to employers in the adult entertainment industry. Early this year, a Southern District of New York judge approved an $8 million settlement for...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

Independent No More: The Crackdown on the Use of Independent Contractors

For years, many employers have tried to reduce their tax burdens by treating persons who perform services for them as individual contractors as opposed to employees and thereby reducing the payroll withholding taxes they must...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

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

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

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

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

Alabama Heightens Attention on Misclassified Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor continues its “misclassification initiative” by adding Alabama to its list of state partners. On October 2, 2014, Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington and DOL regional director Wayne...more

But Wait . . . My Workers Are Independent Contractors, Right?

Following the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent release of its Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Alabama Department of Labor, employers should not rest easy simply because they classify their workers as independent...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

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