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

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

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

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

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

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

Store to Pay Up to $6.5 Million for Misclassifying Workers

A national home-improvement store recently agreed to pay thousands of California workers as much as $6.5 million for improperly labeling them independent contractors (IC) instead of employees....more

The Supremes Sing Out About Control: It is the Primary Test for Deciding Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent...

In December 2008, newspaper carrier Maria Ayala sued Antelope Valley Newspapers on behalf of herself and a putative class of other newspaper carriers. The crux of her allegations in the complaint is that Antelope Valley...more

Employment Law – Delivery Drivers Wrongfully Classified as Independent Contractors Rather Than Employees

Fernando Ruiz, et al. v. Affinity Logistics Corp. - United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (June 16, 2014) - The causes of action that can be asserted against an employer often depend on whether...more

California Supreme Court Holds Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims Can Be Determined by Common Proof – But Only in...

In its first employment-related class certification decision since its seminal ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank, the California Supreme Court, in a fragmented opinion, reversed the denial of class certification for a group of...more

Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers

A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name,...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how...more

California Supreme Court Nixes Certification Denial Ruling Against Newspaper Carriers Classified as Independent Contractors

The California Supreme Court recently held that a trial court needed to revisit its class certification decision regarding newspaper carriers who alleged that they should have been classified as employees rather than...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Test for Independent Contractor Status and Class Certification of Independent Contractor...

Employers frequently struggle with determining when a service provider should be classified as an independent contractor, as opposed to an "employee." Getting the answer to that question wrong can prove significant in many...more

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